By Divya Bhati: The ongoing Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution is feared to pose a significant threat to human jobs in the near future. Amidst all the debates surrounding AI being more efficient than human workers and potentially replacing them, a new report indicates that several jobs are at high risk of being replaced by AI technology.
A new study by McKinsey Global Institute titled “Generative AI and the Future of Work in America” has highlighted the potential impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the job market in the US. According to the report, AI and changing consumer habits will result in a significant shift in employment opportunities across various industries, which will be forcing workers to find new jobs.
The report highlights that AI has the power to greatly accelerate economic automation and by 2030 it could represent 30 percent of the hours worked in the US economy.
AI will replace these jobs by 2030
The report predicts that all jobs requiring some kind of automation, such as data collection and repetitive tasks, will be replaced by AI to make work more efficient. Employment sectors that will be impacted more by this AI transformation will include office support, customer service, and food service employment. The report estimates that an additional 12 million occupational transitions may be required in the US alone by 2030.
“We estimate that demand for clerks12 could decrease by 1.6 million jobs, in addition to losses of 830,000 for retail salespersons, 710,000 for administrative assistants, and 630,000 for cashiers. These jobs involve a high share of repetitive tasks, data collection, and elementary data processing, all activities that automated systems can handle efficiently.”
The report further suggests that this change will force job seekers to move into different employment sectors. ” We estimate that 11.8 million workers currently in occupations with shrinking demand may need to move into different lines of work by 2030.”
The report also highlights that low-wage workers will be more severely affected by these anticipated job shifts due to AI. It states that those earning less than $30,800 a year, as well as those earning between $30,800 and $38,200 a year, are up to 10 and 14 times more likely to require occupational changes by the end of this decade compared to higher earners.
The report clarifies that the shift in jobs will also force low earners to acquire new skills to move to new occupational sectors. This also justifies what many other experts have earlier quoted – only people who keep up with technological trends will be able to survive in the job market. Moreover, upskilling will also facilitate the coexistence of humans and AI.
Emerging job due to Ai
However, the report by McKinsey clarifies that this shift in jobs will not be immediate, rather it will enhance the STEM, creative, business, and legal professionals. The demand for STEM jobs is anticipated to rise by 23 percent by 2030.
“Although layoffs in the tech sector have been making headlines in 2023, this does not change the longer-term demand for tech talent among companies of all sizes and sectors as the economy continues to digitize,” it said.
The report reveals that in terms of job gains, the healthcare industry is expected to see the largest increase, with an estimated demand for 3.5 million more jobs for health aides, health technicians, and wellness workers. Sectors such as banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and transportation services are predicted to undergo major digital transformations, leading to increased job growth in these areas. “In addition, the transportation services category is expected to see job growth of 9 percent by 2030.”
In conclusion, the report indicates that the ongoing AI transition will boost job opportunities for roles that require complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and advanced technical skills. On the other hand, jobs that primarily involve repetitive and manual tasks could see a decrease in demand. AI and automation may take over some of these tasks, leading to a reduced need for human workers in such roles. “Overall, we expect more growth in demand for jobs requiring higher levels of education and skills, along with declines in roles that typically do not require college degrees,” the report concludes.