HomeTech Productivity soars in sectors of the global economy most exposed to AI, according to a report

Productivity soars in sectors of the global economy most exposed to AI, according to a report

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Productivity soars in sectors of the global economy most exposed to AI, according to a report

The sectors of the global economy most exposed to artificial intelligence (AI) are experiencing a sharp increase in productivity and demanding a significant wage premium, according to a report.

Raising hopes that AI could help lift the global economy out of a 15-year slump of low growth, a PwC study found that productivity growth was almost five times faster in parts of the economy where penetration of AI was higher than in less exposed sectors.

PwC said that in the UK, one of 15 countries covered by the report, job openings requiring AI skills were growing 3.6 times faster relative to all job openings.

On average, UK employers were willing to pay a 14% pay premium for jobs requiring AI skills, with the legal and IT sectors experiencing the highest premiums. Productivity growth in sectors most exposed to AI (such as financial services, information technology and professional services) was marginally higher in the UK than the global average.

Since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022 there has been much debate about the employment implications of the new era of intelligent machines, but PwC said AI had been having an impact on the labor market for more than a decade. Starting from a low base, openings for specialized AI jobs were seven times higher than in 2012, compared to a doubling for all other jobs.

PwC’s 2024 Global AI Jobs Barometer found that companies were currently using AI as a solution to the lack of available workers.

“This could be good news for many nations facing a decline in their working-age population and huge unmet labor needs in many sectors,” he said. “AI can help ensure that the labor supply is available so that the economy reaches its full potential.”

The report says that the fact that employment in AI-exposed occupations continues to grow suggests that the arrival of generative AI does not herald an era of job losses. A study, by the center-left think tank Institute for Public Policy Research, has predicted that up to 8 million jobs could disappear in the UK in a jobs “apocalypse” in the coming years.

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Barret Kupelian, chief economist at PwC UK, said: “Our findings show that AI has the power to create new industries, transform the labor market and potentially increase productivity growth rates. In terms of economic impact, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg: currently, our findings suggest that AI adoption is concentrated in a few sectors of the economy, but once the technology improves and spreads to other sectors of the economy economy, the future potential could be transformative.”

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