AI: A Game Changer for High-Paying White-Collar Jobs

JJohn July 31, 2023 2:02 PM

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to disrupt the job market in ways we've never seen before, particularly targeting the white-collar, high-paid segment, says a new study. The exact impacts remain unpredictable, but the workforce could see significant changes, from job displacement to creation of brand new occupations.

AI's potential job market disruption

Artificial Intelligence (AI), a cutting-edge technology, is poised to revolutionize the job market. Unlike previous technologies that primarily impacted factory and assembly-line jobs, AI is more likely to disrupt the space of white-collar, high-paid jobs. Although the exact impacts remain unpredictable, experts believe that AI will cause unprecedented changes in the workplace.

A new Pew survey found that approximately 19% of US workers are in positions with high exposure to AI. This includes occupations such as budget analysts, data entry keyers, tax preparers, technical writers, and web developers. These jobs often require analytical skills that AI could potentially replace or assist, leading to a significant shift in job functions.

Emergence of new occupations with AI

While AI has the potential to displace certain jobs, it may also pave the way for new occupations that we can't yet anticipate. The evolution of AI could lead to the emergence of new roles, marking a significant shift in the way work is done and the skills required to perform it.

Interestingly, workers in jobs with the most AI exposure earned more. In 2022, the average hourly wage was $33 for these jobs compared to $20 for jobs with the least exposure, according to a Pew study. This wage disparity reflects the value placed on skills and roles that require high exposure to AI.

Worker displacement and inequality risks with AI

As we move into the future, new forms of automation, including AI, could lead to even more worker displacement and inequality than previous generations of automation. This could potentially result in the elimination of jobs for many workers in various sectors, from vehicle drivers and retail workers to lawyers, accountants, and health care professionals.

Growing demand for AI skills

Over the recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the demand for workers with AI-related skills. According to Indeed, job listings seeking AI skills have grown from about 20 per million in July 2018 to 328 per million in July 2023. This trend is likely to continue as AI becomes more central to various job roles.

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