US workers expect employers to pay for retraining after AI job displacement
- The majority of U.S. adults believe employers should pay for retraining if the implementation of AI caused job displacement, according to a survey from Gallup and Northeastern University of 3,297 U.S. adults. Respondents also would look toward the federal government to fund reskilling.
- The majority of surveyed respondents believe AI will have a positive impact on the jobs and lives of U.S. adults, however almost three-quarters also believe the technology will eliminate more jobs than it creates. In particular, respondents believe AI will first eliminate jobs in manufacturing and construction, retail and transportation. Respondents also expect computer, information systems and mathematics jobs to face AI disruption.
- In the event Americans lost jobs to AI, almost half of respondents would look to their employer for on the job training or training offered by a new employer. Almost 40% of respondents would look for college or university training, and about 10% would rely on self-taught education or free online courses.
Since AI implementation has become commonplace, the focus for most organizations has centered around efficiency and streamlining work, thus changing the nature of rote tasks that unnecessarily preoccupy workers. As more organizations have felt the impact of AI, more attention has turned toward job loss.
The World Economic forum estimates AI will disrupt 1.4 million U.S. jobs between now and 2026, impacting 96% of national employment. The ensuing "reskilling crisis" will have a ripple effect across sectors, with the majority of displaced workers ill-equipped to find additional employment.
But if technology displaces jobs, who is going to foot the bill for retraining? Bill Gates is a high-profile proponent of implementing a "robot tax," where governments would tax companies that use robots and help fund retraining efforts.
Ultimately, many think employers are responsible for reskilling displaced workers, but that requires a great deal of foresight and, in some cases, action by the government to mandate such efforts. Companies are quick to implement solutions that benefit the bottom line, but if rapid adoption of automated solutions ensues, it could cause an employment crisis.
One of the biggest concerns is that most Americans expect AI job displacement to impact everyone but themselves. Just 23% of those surveyed by Gallup and Northeastern are worried about losing their jobs to new technology. If employees don't expect their position to be impacted, many will be less motivated to seek retraining on their own.
- Northeastern University and Gallup Optimism and Anxiety: Views on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Higher Education's Response
- Gallup As Machines Continue to Improve, So Must We
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