The 20 Australian suburbs most likely to be impacted by AI and automation
14 out of the top 20 suburbs are located in Victoria. Image: Canva.
  • Information Media and Telecommunications most likely to be impacted.
  • 14 out of the top 20 suburbs belong to Victoria.
  • Policymakers and businesses need to plan for AI and automation led future.

Suburbtrends has published a new report naming the top 20 Australian suburbs most likely impacted by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. The study aimed to gauge AI’s effect on the workforce, using the suburb as a unit of analysis.

Jobs most impacted by AI

Popular language models, Bard and ChatGPT, were used to estimate productivity gains, expressed as percentages, across 18 employment categories as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The study used the average between the two figures.

As seen below, the industries expected to be most affected by the move towards AI and automation are Information Media and Telecommunications, Professional Scientific and Technical Services, and Financial and Insurance Services.

Automation impact

Category Productivity gain, ChatGPT Productivity gain, Bard Average
Information Media and Telecommunications 90% 90% 90%
Professional Scientific and Technical Services 85% 85% 85%
Financial and Insurance Services 80% 80% 80%
Manufacturing 70% 75% 73%
Wholesale Trade 60% 60% 60%
Health Care and Social Assistance 50% 65% 58%
Education and Training 45% 70% 58%
Retail Trade 55% 55% 55%
Administrative and Support Services 75% 20% 48%
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 65% 15% 40%
Mining 30% 35% 33%
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 35% 25% 30%
Accommodation and Food Services 15% 45% 30%
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 40% 10% 25%
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 20% 30% 25%
Public Administration and Safety 10% 40% 25%
Construction 25% 15% 20%
Arts and Recreation Services 5% 15% 10%

Source: Suburbtrends.

After that, the estimated productivity gain refers to the total number of people employed in each job category that will be affected by AI and automation.

For instance, in the case of construction, where automation is expected to result in a 20% productivity improvement, it is assumed that 20% of people in this sector will lose their jobs — Surburbtrends emphasises that this is in the worst-case scenario.

The study then used national census data to tally the number of people employed in each of the 18 job categories in every Australian suburb. The productivity improvement percentages obtained earlier were utilised to compute the number of people impacted in each job category in each suburb.

Example suburb: Marrickville NSW

Industry People potentially impacted
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 1,751
Health Care and Social Assistance 1,006
Education and Training 874
Financial and Insurance Services 777
Information Media and Telecommunications 642
Retail Trade 586
Manufacturing 431
Public Administration and Safety 262
Accommodation and Food Services 260
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 211
Administrative and Support Services 194
Wholesale Trade 191
Construction 151
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 56
Arts and Recreation Services 46
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 18
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 10
Mining 3

Source: Suburbtrends.

Finally, the Australians affected in each type in each given suburb were totalled and ranked based on the number of people involved.

Top 20 suburbs, national

Rank State Suburb Total people potentially impacted
1 VIC Melbourne 16,490
2 VIC Point Cook 16,132
3 VIC Craigieburn 12,667
4 VIC Berwick 12,092
5 VIC Tarneit 12,069
6 VIC Reservoir (Vic.) 11,440
7 VIC Pakenham 11,393
8 NSW Blacktown 10,340
9 VIC Werribee 10,313
10 NSW Castle Hill (NSW) 10,165
11 VIC Glen Waverley 9,942
12 VIC Richmond (Vic.) 9,812
13 NSW Baulkham Hills 9,403
14 NSW Dubbo 9,209
15 NSW Parramatta 8,998
16 NSW Port Macquarie 8,938
17 VIC Preston (Vic.) 8,922
18 VIC Mount Waverley 8,813
19 VIC Rowville 8,809
20 VIC Sunbury 8,777

Source: Suburbtrends.

Victoria most likely to be affected

Victoria holds the most suburbs with the most people that may be affected by automation, with 14 out of 20 suburbs on the list belonging to the capital city. Trailing behind is New South Wales, with six suburbs on the list.

Kent Lardner, Suburbtrends founder, stresses that, “Understanding the potential ramifications of AI and automation at a granular level is crucial for planning, whether at the policy level, in business strategy, or for individual career development.”

Melbourne, Point Cook, and Craigieburn hold the top spots for most potentially impacted suburbs — Melbourne, with 16,490 individuals; Point Cook, with 16,132; and Craigieburn, with 12,667 possible job losses.

Planning for an AI-led future

“These numbers underscore the need for Australia to prepare for a future where AI and automation will undoubtedly play an increasingly pivotal role. It’s not necessarily about job losses but job transformation. Areas with higher concentrations of workers in certain industries might feel the effects more intensely, and we need to be ready for that,” Lardner adds.

According to Suburbtrends, the findings demonstrate that policymakers, businesses, and individuals must proactively plan for AI and automation’s inevitable rise.

Though the research uses the worst-case scenario to interpret productivity gains, assuming that it equates to job losses, it recognises that increased productivity does not necessarily always leads to job losses. Instead, it could lead to job transformation and redistribution, possibly producing new job types.

“We’re standing on the precipice of a significant shift in the workforce. This transformation could be as profound as the industrial revolution, but with the right preparation, Australia can navigate this change effectively,” Kent says.

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