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AI to Cause Workforce Decreases than Increases,Emphasis on Workforce Retraining: McKinsey

There is a growing concern that AI will lead to workforce reduction. The latest McKinsey findings suggest that, thus far, this concern has largely not been realized.

More than one-third of respondents report less than a 3% change in their companies’ workforce size because of AI deployment, and only 5% of respondents report a change, whether decrease or increase, of greater than 10%. While respondents from a handful of industries, including automotive and assembly, are more likely to report a workforce reduction than an increase in the past year because of AI.

Greater emphasis on workforce retraining is likely

The survey findings indicate that a majority of respondents’ companies are preparing for AI-related workforce changes. Nearly six in ten respondents at companies using AI say at least some of their workforce has been retrained in the past year. In addition, 83% of respondents expect at least some of their workforce to be retrained in the next three years because of AI adoption, and 38 % expect more than a quarter to be retrained.

Respondents at AI high performers report retraining much greater shares of employees in the past year because of AI, compared with respondents at other companies that have adopted AI. Respondents at high performers also predict that their companies will retrain larger shares of their workforce in the next three years.

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