The colored dots signified how susceptible an area would be to job losses caused by automation. And the alarm-bell red that covered Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario signaled high risk — roughly 63 percent of tasks performed by workers in the area could be automated in the future.
To Moenius, the rise of robots in warehouses, factories and fast-food restaurants presents danger for places like the Inland Empire, where most residents work in logistics and the service industry and just 21 percent of adults have four-year degrees. As technology transforms the nature of work in California, how do people most at risk find their way to new jobs?
"We're facing a major challenge," Moenius said. "If we don't do anything, then it will turn into an apocalypse."
Whether confronting an increasingly automated labor market or grappling with how the gig economy is reshaping the relationship between companies and their workers, California's next governor will have to address the changing nature of work.