The future of work in America

All this week, our daily charts will focus on one of the hottest topics in business: AI. We’ll take a closer look at the technology’s implications for growth, industries, the workforce, and more.

The US labor market has gone through a rapid transition—which should only continue, when factoring in the impact of AI. Going forward, healthcare and STEM fields could see significant job gains by 2030, according to Kweilin Ellingrud, a McKinsey Global Institute director, and coauthors. Occupational categories facing the biggest potential job losses include office support, customer service, and food services. We estimate that demand for clerks could decrease by 1.6 million jobs.

While STEM, healthcare, builders, and professional fields continue to add jobs, generative AI could change work activities significantly for many occupations.

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A scatterplot shows the effect of generative-AI-driven automation on labor demand changes across 17 US sectors from 2022 to 2030. Each sector is denoted by a circle. Sectors such as STEM, creative and arts management, business and legal, and education and workforce training appear in the top-right quadrant, indicating increasing labor demand and significant work activity changes due to automation. Footnote 1: Midpoint automation adoption is the average of early and late automation adoption scenarios as referenced in McKinsey’s June 2023 report, “The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier.”

Footnote 2: Demand factors include income growth, aging populations, technology and infrastructure investment (including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), education levels, net-zero transitions, marketization of unpaid work, new occupations, automation (including generative AI), increased remote work, and e-commerce.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics; Current Population Survey, US Census Bureau; McKinsey Global Institute analysis.

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To read the report, see “Generative AI and the future of work in America,” July 26, 2023.