articles | 22 May 2024

Job growth and productivity spike in AI-exposed sectors

Sectors that are heavily exposed to AI are witnessing a surge in productivity, while AI jobs are also experiencing notable growth, according to a recent report shared by PwC Cyprus.

This comprehensive study, which analysed over half a billion job ads from 15 countries, suggests that AI could enable numerous nations to achieve economic growth, higher wages, and improved living standards. The report revealed that for every job posting requiring AI specialist skills (like machine learning) in 2012, there are now seven job postings. Moreover, PwC research also found that growth in jobs demanding AI skills has significantly outpaced all jobs since 2016, growing 3.5 times faster. These findings emphasise a substantial economic opportunity for the labour forces: jobs that necessitate AI skills carry up to a 25 per cent average wage premium in some markets. Additionally, the skills sought by employers are evolving much faster in occupations more exposed to AI. Indeed, old skills are disappearing—and new skills are emerging—in job ads at a 25 per cent higher rate than in occupations less exposed to AI.

As numerous questions loom around the technology’s impact on everything from job security to long-term business viability, the findings provide some positive news, particularly for workers in sectors most exposed to AI. Specifically, AI-enabled workers are not only more productive but also more valuable, which opens the door to rising prosperity for workers and nations alike. In line with previous technological revolutions—from electricity to computers—AI is fundamentally altering what it takes for workers to succeed. Consequently, those who adapt may enjoy vast new opportunities.

Turning to the topic of productivity growth, the findings paint a decidedly positive picture of AI’s impact on labour markets and productivity. Sectors most exposed to AI, such as financial services, information technology, and professional services, are experiencing nearly fivefold higher labour productivity growth compared to sectors less exposed to AI. Furthermore, regarding wage premiums, across the five major labour markets for which wage data is available (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore), jobs that require AI specialist skills carry a significant wage premium—up to 25 per cent on average in the US. This underlines the value of these skills to companies. For instance, in the US, this premium can range from 18 per cent for accountants and 33 per cent for financial analysts to 43 per cent for sales and marketing managers and even 49 per cent for lawyers. While the wage premium differs by market, it is overwhelmingly higher in all markets analysed.

Concluding the discussion, there is no going back to yesterday’s job markets. Companies, workers, and policymakers share responsibility for helping workers build the skills to succeed in a fast-changing job market. Skills demanded by employers in occupations more exposed to AI are changing at a 25 per cent higher rate than in less exposed occupations.

According to PwC’s 27th Annual Global CEO Survey 2024, 69 per cent of CEOs expect AI will require new skills from their workforce, rising to 87 per cent of CEOs who have already deployed AI.


Source: Cyprus Mail

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