August 21, 2023

Black And Hispanic Workers Worry Automation Can Replace Their Jobs But Remain Optimistic About The Future

An American Staffing Association (ASA) survey found that nearly 50% of Americans say automation could easily replace their jobs. 

Black and Hispanic Americans were especially likely to worry about automation replacing their jobs but remained optimistic about how AI tools would shape their future careers.

AI tools and automation in the workplace

Automation uses technology to perform tasks where human input is minimized; for example, operating systems perform predictable and repetitive tasks without direct human input. 

Developments in generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, have made it easier to automate workplace tasks

The ASA survey found that many workers were already using AI tools in the workplace, with Black and Hispanic workers more likely to report doing so than their white colleagues. 

How will this affect jobs?

According to the ASA survey, 3 in 4 Americans believe increased automation will result in job losses.

This is in direct contrast to previous results from their 2017 survey, which found that 3 in 4 employed Americans did not believe robots or AI could easily replace their work.

“In just a few short years, worker attitudes toward AI have changed drastically,” said staffing association Chief Executive Officer Richard Wahlquist.

“Workers used to see AI programs as something that could help human workers. Now, workers are concerned AI could be replacing them altogether.”

The survey also found that 51% of people in engineering, IT or scientific sectors believed automation could take away their jobs.

Who is most concerned?

Most Black (57%) and Hispanic (56%) workers considered their jobs at risk, compared with less than 2 in 5 (39%) of their white counterparts.

Despite this, Black workers were most likely to believe that automation in the workplace would ultimately benefit workers and help their future careers.

With more than 2,000 US adults surveyed, it was evenly divided on whether they thought it would help or hurt their careers.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.