Rather quietly last week, Governor Murphy issued an executive order to form a task force looking into how automation and robotics will affect New Jersey’s workforce. According to NJSpotlight.com, “more than half of New Jersey’s most common occupations could be automated in less than 20 years.”

According to the United Way, retail salespeople and cashiers are in the most danger of being replaced, with a 90% chance of going away. Among other jobs being seen as in danger are health aides, movers, janitors, and sales representatives. Governor Murphy’s economic plan includes lifelong learning to retrain displaced workers in order to stay abreast of changes in technology and how it relates to the workforce.

Although having technology replace jobs is nothing new (think telephone operators or the proliferation of ATMs), the pace at which technology advances is thought by many to have increased, making more workers vulnerable. Governor Murphy said, “We must not lose sight of the profound impacts that technological change will have on our workforce and economy.” NJ Spotlight quotes the governor as saying in the executive order that formed the task force, its mission is “to produce an evidence-based policy roadmap for New Jersey to prepare for the future of work.”

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