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Do Consumers Accept There Is a New “Age of Automation,” and Are They Concerned?

Posted by
LivePerson
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 09:13

LivePerson conducted a survey to determine how concerned Americans are about losing their jobs due to automation and what industries are most at risk.

The full report can be viewed here.

Some highlights include:

  • 65.6% of people agree or strongly agree that, while many other industries are at risk of losing jobs to automation, theirs is secure.
  • Only 14.9% of workers are certain their industry will disappear or worry often that it will.
  • Despite broad agreement among experts and academics that automation will exert great downward pressure on employment in many industries and roles, only 13.6% of workers cite it as the greatest threat to job security in their industry.

 

Recent reports have projected the loss of millions of jobs in the US and abroad due to “robots,” “AI,” and the like. But are American workers as worried about losing their jobs to automation as some reports imply they should be?

We commissioned a survey of 2,000 consumers ages 18+ to determine how concerned they are and potential industries at risk. The survey found that most people feel very confident and secure in their job, but they believe other jobs and industries should be concerned. 

Bots can’t do my job.

In spite of the media hype around automation stealing jobs, more than 46% of respondents reported they are not at all worried robots will replace them in the workforce, and 58% feel very secure and confident their job will still exist in 10 years. In fact, most respondents believe the greatest threat to their job security is a struggling economy (36%). This is followed by not being paid well enough (21%), unhappy employees (15%), and overseas workers (10%). Automation came in fourth at 14%.

However, consumers aren’t dismissing the potential impact of automation completely. Acknowledging the threat automation poses to the workforce, 65% of respondents believe that other industries may be at risk but their job and industry are safe.

Bots can do other jobs.

According to the survey, consumers see manufacturing (68%), banking/accounting/financial services (52%), and customer service (52%) as the top three industries most at risk of automation in the next 20 years. As far as what particular jobs consumers think will disappear, factory worker (57%) and cashier (53%) topped the list.

Are you prepared?

While more than 50% of respondents feel secure in their jobs, most reported they have taken some measures to increase their job security: 45% have taken courses to learn new skills, and 32% have attended conferences focused on professional development.

It’s a start, but when you consider the University of Oxford sees 47% of US jobs as being highly susceptible to automation within the next two decades, bigger steps need to be taken now to prepare for a dramatically different workplace. The question is, what is the next best step?

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