Almost 1 in 5 Americans know someone whose job has been affected by automation | Ladders

A new report from Pew Research Center shows that 18% of Americans reported knowing someone whose salary or hours have been cut, or who has lost a position, due to “workforce automation.
The Future of Work

Almost 1 in 5 Americans know someone whose job has been affected by automation

A new report from Pew Research Center shows that 18% of Americans reported knowing someone whose salary or hours have been cut, or who has lost a position, due to “workforce automation.”

A sliver of people also reported having firsthand experience with this topic, with 2% saying they’ve lost a position themselves because their company “replaced their positions with a machine or computer program,” and 5% saying they’ve had a cut in salary or hours because of it.

But at the same time — and in line with similar findingsthe Pew Research data shows that not everyone buys into the idea of automation taking over their jobs, with only 30% of employees saying they think it’s “at least somewhat likely” that computers or robots will mostly carry out their positions while they’re still alive.

Of all the findings, here are just a few that stand out.

Who is losing their jobs to automation?

The report featured an age breakdown of the 2% who say they’ve lost a position to automation and the 5% who’ve witnessed a dip in wage or hours because of it.

Those ages 18-24 emerged as the most likely to report being affected directly by automation.

On the other hand, those aged 65 and up were the least likely to say so, with only 1% saying automation took their job and just 2% saying they ended up earning less money or clocking in fewer hours because of it.

 Who thinks robots will take their jobs during their lifetime?

Among hospitality and service workers, 42% said it was “likely,” while 58% said it wasn’t. Among retail employees, 41% said it was “likely,” while 59% disagreed.

Meanwhile, 82% percent of those in education said it was “not likely” their jobs would be replaced by technology. Seventy-six percent of those in health care said it was “not likely.”

Most Americans really don’t want computers involved in hiring

Another part of the survey dealt with the role of technology when it comes to hiring.

The research found that an overwhelming 76% of respondents wouldn’t be interested in applying for positions that rely on a computer program to make determinations about candidates during the hiring process.

Within this group, 41% say “computers can’t capture everything about an applicant,” 20% think it’s “too impersonal,” and 4% think candidates are able to “game [the] system.”

A comment from an unnamed 22-year-old woman was featured in the report, showing that by using algorithms in hiring, certain human traits could slip through the cracks.

“A computer cannot measure the emotional intelligence or intangible assets that many humans have. Not every quality can be quantitatively measured by a computer when hiring someone; there is much more learned by face-to-face interactions,” she said.

Technology that uses computers to screen applicants is already being deployed. There’s already AI that can scan your face and tell employers whether you’re a good fit or not.

Some are open to being screened by computers

Some Americans, however, think computers will give some job applicants a leg up during hiring, with 22% on board wth the idea of AI being involved in the hiring process.

Of those who were in favor of it, 35% said they thought this technology would be “more fair, less biased than humans,” 10% said they think they’d “score well,” and 10% said “I would do what it took to get the job.”

An unnamed 69-year-old woman commented in the report: “This process, assuming the criteria were fairly developed, would avoid unfair discrimination and bias which impacts many hiring experiences. The successful applicant would be hired because they had the skills to do the job, not because they had a personality that clicked with the hiring authority.”