Artificial Intelligence could be a reason behind decline in some wages

Jan 8, 2018 | 2814 Views

Artificial Intelligence has become a part of our day to day lives in many ways. Whether it is in the form of Amazon Echo or a program that checks you into your doctor's office or a customer service chatbot, they have begun to penetrate into every industry.  These features are becoming increasingly common in U.S. cities as offices have begun to automate many functions. A recent report from McKinsey & Co. predicted that almost half of all current activities being performed in offices can be automated, today.

A report from Glassdoor on 10 major U.S. metropolitan areas shows that the shift is underway as wages have started slip for jobs where automation & AI are beginning to catch up.
The survey, released monthly, found pay for loan officers fell 6.1 percent in December compared with a year earlier, while office manager pay sank 1.1 percent and machine operators lost 1.9 percent as automation takes root even more widely in manufacturing.

"In our pay data, when we look at jobs that are seeing weak pay growth, and sometimes the negative pay growth, it's clear that some of those professions have a weak labor market because some of those jobs are being done now by software," Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain said in an interview.
It's not so much that all of one job is being replaced, it's that portions of some traditional jobs are being automated, Chamberlain said. Electronic tablet check-in at all kinds of offices, for example, is replacing one function of the administrative assistant. More people now can apply for loans online, going through the bulk of the process before ever actually speaking to a human.

"So far we really haven't seen large-scale displacement of people actually becoming fully unemployed because their job has been fully replaced by artificial intelligence," Chamberlain noted.

It's that the jobs themselves are changing: New supervisory skills are needed to oversee humans and the software-driven tasks that now do some portion of their work, and workers who have those skills are in demand. A recent Gartner report predicted AI will create more jobs than it eliminates by 2020 and generate 2 million new net jobs in 2025.

But for now, the transition may be cutting into wages as job descriptions and skills needed to do those jobs change.

As many as one-third of U.S. workers may need to learn new skills and find new occupations by 2030, the McKinsey report estimated. Transitional remedies will be needed, and the authors cite measures being explored globally, such as basic universal income and extensive job training.

"Our analysis shows that most job growth in the U.S. and other advanced economies will be in occupations currently at the high end of the wage distribution," the McKinsey report said. "Some occupations that are currently low wage, such as nursing assistants and teaching assistants, will also increase, while a wide range of middle-income occupations will have the largest employment declines."

There are very few jobs that list deep learning or AI in their title according to Glassdoor's Chamberlain. The job site had only 512 unique deep learning and AI jobs open in the U.S. out of around 6 million listed as of Oct. 20, 2017.

Glassdoor survey also pointed out that the median base pay in December rose 1.1 percent nationally. 
Of the 84 job titles, there are some that are growing faster than average like restaurant cook, medical technologist & paralegals. Job titles with declining wages included Java software developers, bartenders & loan officers.
This Glassdoor report includes details related to wages and job groups in 10 major metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Boston, Chicago & others.

Source: HOB