US Workers Are Confident Despite Uncertainty Surrounding Workplace Automation

 

New survey finds workers are willing to retrain in order to prepare for the workforce of the future

 

New York, September 12, 2017 – As automation and AI continue to play a larger role in the workplace, three-quarters (75%) of US workers are ready to learn a new skill or completely retrain to remain employable in the future. That is one of the key findings highlighted in a new PwC report, Workforce of the Future: the competing forces shaping 2030. It includes findings from a survey of 10,000 people across the UK, Germany, China, India and the US where more than 1,500 members of the general US population were surveyed.

With 38% of US jobs at risk for automation, the respondents’ views reinforce the need for both businesses and the workforce at large to focus on building the skillsets needed to keep up with technology’s impact on jobs and the workplace.

“Talent is a critically important resource, and half of US workers say the future world of work is full of possibilities,” says Jeff Hesse, Principal and US People and Organization co-lead at PwC. “Now is the time for companies to focus on ensuring their workforce has the uniquely human skills required to thrive in the future world of work, including problem-solving, leadership, emotional intelligence, empathy and creativity.”

In the Workforce of the Future report, PwC examines four potential worlds of work in 2030 to show how competing forces, including automation, are shaping the workforces of the future. Each scenario has huge implications for the world of work, which cannot be ignored by governments, organizations or individuals.

“There is no way to know how the world will look in 2030, but businesses and employees must prepare now for the way the workplace might be shaped over the coming decade,” says Scott Olsen, Principal and US People and Organization - Tax leader at PwC. “Retraining and reskilling will be critical to harnessing the benefits of technological change.”

Additional insights from the Workforce of the Future report include:

  • With automation expected to cause a massive rebalancing of work, the outlook is still largely positive: The majority of US respondents (73%) believe technology will improve their job prospects in the future. Globally, workers are similarly optimistic: nearly three-quarters (73%) believe technology will never replace the human mind and the majority (86%) say human skills will always be in demand.
  • At the same time, concerns do persist: 37% of US respondents believe automation is putting their job at risk, up from 23% in 2014.
  • How to manage the impact of technology and automation on jobs remains unclear: Over half of global respondents (56%) think governments should take any action needed to protect jobs from automation.

For the full survey results and key findings, visit www.pwc.com/us/futureworkforce.

Methodology

Workforce of the future: the competing forces shaping 2030 includes findings from a survey of 10,000 people across the UK, Germany, China, India and the US. The respondents’ views reinforce the need for both businesses and the workforce at large to focus on building the skillsets needed to keep up with technology’s impact on jobs and the workplace. For all data specific to the US, PwC surveyed 1,548 members of the general US population. 1,530 of these respondents are not retired.

Notes

  1. Download a copy of the report at www.pwc.com/us/futureworkforce
  2. To find out more about PwC’s People and Organization expertise go to https://www.pwc.com/us/en/hr-management.html

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