AI drives productivity surge in certain industries, report shows

The growth of AI-exposed occupations implies that generative AI does not lead to significant job losses.

A man interacts with artificial intelligence to optimize and automate computing.

A recent PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited) report highlights that sectors of the global economy with high exposure to AI are experiencing significant productivity gains and wage increases. The study found that productivity growth in AI-intensive industries is nearly five times faster than in sectors with less AI integration. In the UK, job postings requiring AI skills are growing 3.6 times faster than other listings, with employers offering a 14% wage premium for these roles, particularly in legal and IT sectors.

Since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, AI’s impact on employment has been widely debated. However, PwC’s findings indicate that AI has influenced the job market for over a decade. Job postings for AI specialists have increased sevenfold since 2012, far outpacing the growth for other roles. The report suggests that AI is being used to address labour shortages, which could benefit countries with ageing populations and high worker demand.

PwC’s 2024 global AI jobs barometer reveals that the growth in AI-related employment contradicts fears of widespread job losses due to automation. Despite predictions of significant job reductions, the continued rise in AI-exposed occupations suggests that AI is creating new industries and transforming the job market. According to PwC UK’s chief economist, Barret Kupelian, as AI technology advances and spreads across more sectors, its potential economic impact could be transformative, marking only the beginning of its influence on productivity and employment.