How AI Could Spell Trouble for the US Labor Market

By: Anneken Tappe · June 18, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Future of Work

Are robots coming to take all our jobs? No, at least not yet. But the advent of artificial intelligence could leave a mark on the U.S. labor market nonetheless.

Some 60% of the workforce in developed economies is exposed to some impact from AI, according to an analysis by the International Monetary Fund .

“Roughly half the exposed jobs may benefit from AI integration, enhancing productivity. For the other half, AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring. In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear,” wrote IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

In developing countries, this exposure is lower, with only about 40% of jobs expected to be affected by AI. Even so, that means a lot of workers across the world could see their day-to-day change over the next few years.

Skill Convergence

AI tools could also help workers abroad — who may present a lower-cost option for companies — get more competitive. AI-powered online learning may help workers in emerging economies attain key skills, for example, making it cheaper and easier to learn online.

This could be great for companies which may have more higher-skilled workers to choose from, and would be a boon for emerging economies on the whole. For the domestic workers, however, it could be just another thing to worry about.

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