A recent survey conducted by the American Staffing Association (ASA) reveals that a growing number of US workers are concerned about the potential impact of technological developments in the workplace and believe that machines could replace them in their jobs. The survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of ASA, shows that 47% of respondents now agree to the possibility of being replaced by automation, compared to only 27% in 2017.
Richard Wahlquist, CEO of ASA, commented on the survey findings, saying, “In just a few short years, worker attitudes toward artificial intelligence have changed drastically. Workers used to see AI programs as something that could help human workers. Now, workers are concerned AI could be replacing them altogether,” This shift in perception highlights the increasing worries among workers about their job security amidst the rise of automation, robots, and AI.
The survey also shows that different groups of workers perceive the threat of automation differently. Industrial workers are more likely to believe that their jobs are at risk of being replaced by technology, whereas healthcare employees feel the least exposed to such threats. Furthermore, younger workers, blacks, and Hispanics express higher levels of concern about potential changes in the job market due to technological advancements. Approximately 55% of Generation Z and millennials fear that their jobs could be replaced, while less than 40% of white Americans share the same concerns. In contrast, only 26% of baby boomers express concerns about being replaced by technology.
Overwhelmingly, 74% of respondents either strongly or somewhat agree that increased automation could result in a surge in unemployment. This sentiment reflects the broader apprehension among workers about the potential negative consequences of technological developments in the workplace.
Despite these concerns, the majority of respondents still view the increased use of technology in the workplace as a positive development. More than 30% of respondents already reported using AI in their current jobs. Interestingly, respondents with higher job levels, such as senior managers, are more welcoming to automation compared to middle-range employees. While 65% of senior managers view automation as beneficial for workers, only 51% of middle-range employees share the same opinion.
The online survey was conducted among 2,000 US adults from June 20-22, providing insights into the evolving attitudes of American workers towards automation and its potential impact on their employment prospects.
In conclusion, the survey conducted on behalf of ASA reveals a notable increase in concerns among US workers about the potential of technological developments to replace them in their jobs. This anxiety is particularly prevalent among younger workers, blacks, and Hispanics. Nevertheless, the majority still view the use of technology in the workplace as beneficial, even though there is a widespread belief that increased automation may lead to higher unemployment rates. These findings highlight the need for continued dialogue and proactive measures to address the challenges and opportunities brought about by technology in the workforce.