AI increases risk of unemployment in OECD countries

More must be done to help employees who may be adversely impacted as the use of AI in the workplace increases, says the OECD.
By: | July 13, 2023

More than a quarter of jobs within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries are at risk of automation due to advancements in AI, according to the latest report released by the Paris-based organisation.

The OECD, comprising 38 member nations including both wealthy economies and emerging markets, has shed light on the increasing influence of AI in the labour market. While the current impact of AI on employment may not be significant, the report suggested that this may be due to the early stages of the AI revolution.

The 2023 Employment Outlook report revealed that jobs at the highest risk of automation account for an average of 27% of the labour force in OECD countries. Jobs at the highest risk were defined as those using more than 25 of the 100 skills and abilities that AI professionals consider can be easily automated.

A survey conducted by the OECD in 2022 found that three out of five employees expressed concerns about the potential loss of their jobs to AI within the next decade.

Despite the apprehension surrounding the rise of AI however, two-thirds of employees already working with AI technology believe that automation has made their jobs less dangerous or tedious.

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Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD, said, “How AI will ultimately impact employees in the workplace and whether the benefits will outweigh the risks, will depend on the policy actions we take. Governments must help employees to prepare for the changes and benefit from the opportunities AI will bring about.”

To address the potential consequences of AI automation, the OECD has outlined several recommendations, including implementing minimum wages and supportive collective bargaining to mitigate wage pressures resulting from AI. Furthermore, governments and regulators need to ensure employees’ rights are not comprised, the OECD said, reported CNA.