AI Job Cuts on the Horizon? Survey Shows Companies Plan To Shrink Workforce

Agencies

A new survey by staffing firm Adecco Group suggests a wave of automation is coming, with 41% of executives at large companies worldwide expecting to reduce their workforce due to artificial intelligence (AI) within the next five years.

This news comes amidst the growing adoption of generative AI, a technology capable of creating realistic text, images, and videos. While some see it as a tool to eliminate repetitive tasks, others fear it will render entire jobs obsolete.

“Almost all jobs are going to be impacted by AI one way or another,” Adecco CEO Denis Machuel told Reuters. “AI can be a job killer, and it can also be a job creator

“Ten years ago, there was this big fear that many jobs were going to be destroyed by digital, when actually lots of jobs had been created by the digital world,” he said. “Between jobs created by AI and jobs destroyed, we believe this is going to be balanced.”

The survey included executives from 18 industries across nine countries, encompassing both white-collar and blue-collar jobs. This paints a more concerning picture than a previous World Economic Forum poll where half of companies believed AI would create new jobs, not eliminate them.

Recent tech industry layoffs lend credence to these concerns. Companies like Google and Microsoft are shifting focus towards AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Gemini, leading to job cuts. Even outside tech firms like Dropbox and Duolingo have cited AI as a reason for downsizing.

Economists at Goldman Sachs previously warned that generative AI could eliminate or significantly impact up to 300 million jobs globally, with white-collar workers most vulnerable. The Adecco survey suggests this prediction may become a reality within the next five years.

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