Generative AI is set to disrupt the U.S. workforce, triggering approximately 12 million job switches, according to a study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute. The research suggests that by 2030, generative AI could automate around 30% of the hours worked in the U.S. economy, necessitating significant changes in the job market.
The rise of generative AI is expected to result in approximately 11.8 million workers transitioning to new career paths, with around 9 million individuals needing to seek employment in entirely different industries. This shift is driven by various factors, including job displacement and the allure of higher-paying industries or fields with high demand for specific skills.
The healthcare sector, which already has an estimated 1.9 million job openings as of April, is projected to add roughly 5.5 million new jobs through 2030. Additionally, there will be a 23% surge in demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) jobs due to the widespread integration of AI across various industries beyond just technology.
However, the proficiency of generative AI in administrative tasks is expected to lead to a decline in demand for positions such as office support and customer service by 18% and 13% respectively by 2030. The food service sector is anticipated to experience a smaller decrease of 2% during the same timeframe. Unfortunately, these changes may disproportionately affect women and pose an elevated risk for Black and Hispanic employees.
It is important to note that automation adoption does not necessarily mean the elimination of jobs. Many jobs will still remain, but the nature of work and how it is carried out will change significantly. McKinsey estimates that individuals who continue in their current roles will see approximately 30% of their work hours automated by generative AI.
Previously, current technologies could only automate around 22% of work hours. The increase to 30% can be attributed to advancements in AI technologies like ChatGPT and other tools, which are now capable of performing tasks that require genuine expertise and even creativity.
According to McKinsey’s analysis, there may be a loss of 1.1 million jobs paying $38,200 or less, but a 3.8 million increase in jobs offering higher salaries of $68,700 per year. However, the lowest-paid workers, earning $38,200 or less, will be heavily affected, with up to 14 times higher chances of needing to switch jobs.
The advent of generative AI brings forth both opportunities and challenges for the workforce. While industries like healthcare will see significant growth, certain job roles may face a decline in demand. It is crucial for individuals to adapt to the changing landscape by acquiring new skills and exploring emerging industries. By embracing these changes, workers can navigate the disruptions caused by generative AI and thrive in the evolving job market.