Almost half of Americans fear job automation by AI

Almost half of Americans fear job automation by AI
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi / Unsplash

"They once viewed AI programs as tools to assist in their work; now, they are concerned that these programs could potentially replace their roles entirely," stated individuals responsible for the survey.

According to a survey conducted by the American Staffing Association (ASA), over half of Americans believe that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) could easily take over their jobs, leading to increased unemployment. Despite positive current labor indicators in the United States, 28% of Americans "strongly agree," and an additional 46% "somewhat agree" that AI may replace their work tasks.

Demographically, young workers, Blacks, and Hispanics express higher concerns about being vulnerable to these changes, while Whites and baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are less apprehensive.

The survey noted that, following recent advancements in artificial intelligence, nearly a third of Americans are incorporating it into their jobs. In contrast, a 2017 survey indicated that almost three-quarters of workers did not believe they would be easily replaced by robots or AI.

Richard Wahlquist, the CEO of ASA, which conducted the survey of over 2,000 adults between June 20 and 22, remarked, "In just a few years, workers' attitudes toward artificial intelligence have changed dramatically. Before, they saw AI programs as something that could help their jobs; now, they are worried that they could replace them completely," in an interview with Bloomberg.

The ASA, representing nearly 1,700 recruiting and temporary employment agencies in the United States, found that nearly three-quarters of respondents anticipate increased automation and AI usage leading to higher unemployment.

Concerns vary across sectors, with industrial workers expressing the most worry, while those in the health sector feel less exposed.

Despite these apprehensions, the United States continues to maintain robust figures in the labor market. The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobless claims fell at the fastest rate in five weeks, with 239,000 people filing for unemployment benefits in the week ending August 12.

Additionally, a report from the Labor Department revealed that the U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs in July, concurrently reducing the unemployment rate by one-tenth to 3.5%, reaching 54-year lows. This indicates resilience in the labor market, even amid concerns about rising interest rates.

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