Apr 5, 2021

BCG: How AI will impact jobs in the US in the next decade

Kate Birch
3 min
Study from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and analytics firm Faethm outlines impact of automation technologies on the job market across the United States
Study from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and analytics firm Faethm outlines impact of automation technologies on the job market across the United States...

A new study from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and analytics firm Faethm says technology is disrupting labour markets, and governments, companies, and individuals need to consider how individual professions will be affected. 

The report titled The Future of Jobs in the Era of AI quantifies the impact of technology by 2030 in the US (as well as Australia and Germany). 

The authors examine how the supply and demand for different types of jobs will change. These include shifts in the size of the national workforce – due to college graduation rates, retirements, and mortality, as well as driven by technology adoption and the impact of COVID-19.

“The net number of jobs lost or gained is an artificially simple metric to gauge the impact of digitisation,” says Rainer Strack, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report. 

“For example, eliminating 10 million jobs and creating 10 million new jobs would appear to have negligible impact. However, doing so would represent a huge economic disruption for the country – along with the millions of people with their jobs at stake.”

US could face labour shortfall of 12.5mn by 2030

Of the three countries examined in the study, Australia faces the widest range of possible outcomes, likely experiencing a labour shortfall of up to 800,000 full-time employees of the national workforce (the difference between the total supply and the total demand) by 2030. However, the impact of COVID-19 could see that figure actually become a surplus of 800,000.

According to the study, Germany would experience a labour shortfall in five of the six scenarios that were modelled, ranging from 200,000 to 2.5 million workers.

The US will likely experience a labour shortfall in its workforce of 600,000 to 12.5 million people.

The professions with the biggest potential shortfalls are computer-related occupations and jobs in science, technology, engineering, and maths. 

In jobs that involve little or no automation but that do require compassionate human interaction tailored to specific groups – such as healthcare, social services, and teaching – the demand for human skills will increase as well.

How can people prepare for automation?

The report suggests national governments should put extra effort into better understanding how the workforce will change and implement training programmes to reskill workers. 

“Governments can also build online employment platforms that can help match available talent to open positions and reskilling opportunities,” said Miguel Carrasco, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report.

Companies can play their part by anticipating the skills and capabilities they will need to succeed in the future and building a culture of lifelong learning. Individuals need to be more flexible and open to learning new skills to meet changing demand.

“As countries prepare to meet the twin demands of the digital age and the economic effects of COVID-19, they must understand the challenges that lie ahead,” says Michael Priddis, CEO of Faethm and co-author of the report. 

“This means making use of more sophisticated analytical models to predict supply and demand in the labour market and integrating them into the foundation of their workforce strategies.”

Faethm AI utilises global data to understand the impact of automation. The company’s SaaS AI platform was launched in 2017 and now serves 26 countries with offices in Sydney, London and Austin, Texas.

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Jun 20, 2021

5 Ways Leaders Can Create a Healthy Workplace Culture

5 min
As the world embraces Men’s Health Week, five experts advise how leaders can create a healthy workplace culture for employees

This week (14th-20th June 2021) is Men’s Health Week. Physical and mental well-being have been important considerations for leaders over the past year, and it is essential this focus is maintained as we build back for the future. Here we have asked 5 experts for practical tips leaders can implement to create healthy workplace cultures.


Know the early signs of burnout 

Recently it was reported by the BBC that burnout for health and social care staff had reached emergency levels. 

Monkey Puzzle Training Co-Founder Karen Meager has studied the burnout recovery process in partnership with Coventry University: “The past year has seen people suffer from job-loss worries, work from home challenges, isolation, and feeling overworked. These are continuing, and all have the potential to contribute towards burnout. Healthcare workers, executives, leaders, managers and small business owners will continue to be the top people to suffer from extreme burnout.”

“At the onset of burnout, people commonly enter a phase of denial. So leaders need to be aware of those who are reluctant to take their time off, are compelled to work all hours, or have changes in their behaviour or mood, as these can all be indications of burnout taking hold. Encouraging them to take a burnout self-test provides a starting point to supporting these employees through recovery, as is role modelling healthy sustainable ways of working.Karen suggests.


Encourage professional self-reflection 

Creating an environment that encourages self-reflection is an effective tool for promoting personal development. Journaling may not be something you instantly think of for professional development; however, it is a successful technique for adults to aid mindfulness and productivity. “Journaling is a form of self-expression that can empower you to understand your feelings and ambitions and how to deal with them, therefore promoting positive well-being and a healthy workplace culture,” describes Elisa Nardi, founder of Notebook Mentor


Just 15-20 minutes of journaling a day over the course of four months are enough to lessen the impact of physical stressors on your health,” explains Elisa. “It can also inspire creativity, aid your memory, and help set actionable goals. It is an underused tool that can help employees manage tricky workplace situations such as conflict, illness or new leadership roles.


Manage your stress and resilience too

As a leader or manager, often, your complete focus is on the business or protecting your team, but you cannot pour from an empty cup. Leaders should also have strategies in place to manage their own stress, so they can sustain high levels of positive energy throughout the day. “Fueled by a burning desire for success, I ignored all the warning signs of exhaustion, which eventually took its toll on me - I literally collapsed from stress, and I didn’t even see it coming.” reflects Sascha Heinemann, an expert in Performance Recovery and Stress Resilience.


“When leaders manage their energy, create healthy daily habits, and practice resilience, they are able to perform to their fullest capacity and to provide the best possible support for others.” 


“Taking a break every 90 minutes or so helps you to refuel, recharge, and re-energize and ultimately allows you to get more accomplished, in less time, at a higher level of quality, and more sustainably. This role model contributes dramatically to a healthier, more engaged, sustainable, and productive workplace culture," he adds.


Instil a sense of purpose for your team

The idea that success equals working 12-15 hour days and giving everything of yourself to your workplace continues to prevail in many organisations. This is not healthy, nor is it productive for anyone involved. “The healthiest and happiest workplace cultures are the ones that are organised around purpose.” describes business and life coach Anand Kulkarni. 


“Leaders should be giving meaning to the work they are doing within their business and beyond and sharing this purpose with their staff, rather than focusing on long hours, crippling workloads or someone else’s idea of ‘success’. When people understand why they are doing what they do and how this contributes to something greater, productivity and well-being is increased.” adds Anand. 


Promote well-being from the top down

Leaders need to act as role models if well-being is to become embedded at the very core of the organisation. It’s very unlikely that employees will start acting in a new way that puts their own needs first if the leadership team continues to behave in an entirely different manner.


‘Many organisations have worked hard in recent months to put new policies in place that better support well-being, promote hybrid working and attempt to set clear boundaries, but many leaders seem to assume that they are exempt from it all, that’s when it all falls over’, explains leadership experts Martin Boroson and Carmel Moore, from The One Moment Company. 


A recent ONS report into Homeworking in the UK revealed that people are on average working 6 hours extra per week, and many are working until late in the evening, indicating that the boundaries between work and life are more blurred than ever. 


Despite all of these wonderful opportunities for people to self-organise, if the leadership team continues to work in the office Monday to Friday, or are communicating at all hours, then it’s a clear indicator that hybrid working is simply a ‘bolt-on’ tactic rather than an integral part of the company’s approach to promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.’

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