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U.K. Employers Willing to Pay Premium for AI Skills

Research from PwC finds that AI could allow many nations to break out of low productivity growth and generate higher wages.

By Maggie Mancini

Sectors more exposed to AI are experiencing almost five times higher growth in labour productivity, according to PwC’s inaugural 2024 Global AI Jobs Barometer. The report, which analyses over half a billion job ads from 15 countries, suggests that AI could allow many nations to break out of persistent low productivity growth, generating economic development, higher wages, and enhanced living standards.  

The report finds that for every job posting requiring AI specialist skills in 2012, there are now seven job postings. PwC research finds that growth in jobs demanding AI skills has outpaced all jobs since 2016, with postings requiring AI skills growing more than three times faster than for all jobs.  

The findings also highlight economic opportunity for labour forces: Jobs that require AI skills carry up to a 25% average wage premium in some markets, including the U.K.  

Skills sought by employers are changing much faster in occupations more exposed to AI, with old skills disappearing—and new skills appearing—in job ads at a 25% higher rate than in occupations less exposed to AI. To stay relevant in these occupations, workers will need to demonstrate or acquire new skills.  

As questions abound around the technology’s impact on job security and long-term business viability, the findings indicate that AI-enabled workers are more productive and more valuable, opening the door to rising prosperity for workers and nations. Like past technological revolutions from electricity to computers, AI is changing what it takes for workers to succeed—and those who adapt may enjoy vast new opportunities.  

“AI is transforming the labour market globally and presents good news for a global economy hindered by economic challenges and concerns around long-term business viability,” says Carol Stubbings, global markets and tax and legal services leader at PwC U.K. “For many economies experiencing labour shortages and low productivity growth, the findings highlight optimism around AI with the opportunity for economic development, job creation, and the creation of new industries entirely. However, the findings show that workers will need to build new skills and organisations will need to invest in their AI strategies and people if they are to turbocharge their development and ensure they are fit for the AI age.” 

Tags: EMEA June 2024, EMEA News

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