Wed, 15 Jul 2020

Washington D.C. [USA], May 30 (ANI): An estimated 67 per cent of workers at American technology companies are concerned about losing their jobs to automation including tools used by employers to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, said global service provider KPMG in a report cited by The WallStreet Journal on Friday.

They fear to lose their jobs to digital capabilities powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic software.

Beyond automation, 70 per cent of tech-sector workers are worried about having their jobs eliminated as a result of the economic fallout from the crisis, compared with 57 per cent of workers employed by companies in other industries, the Journal reported further citing results, based on the KPMG survey, conducted in April, over as many as 1,000 full-time and part-time workers across a range of industries, including 223 employed in the tech sector.

Technology workers' fears could be a harbinger for the broader labour market in the aftermath of the pandemic, as tech company trends often spread across the corporate world over time, said KPMG tech-industry practice leader Tim Zanni.

"Workers in the tech industry are closer to the technology and thus have a unique understanding, more so than other industries, of technology and its capabilities," Zanni was quoted as saying.

He added that workers at technology firms see emerging digital capabilities in the early stages of development and are more likely to be thinking of the impact of these tools on their jobs.

US technology firms shed a record 112,000 jobs in April, erasing total job gains over the past year, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by IT trade group CompTIA.

The nation's tech sector employs roughly 6 million workers, including tech professionals, as well as people in sales, marketing, human resources, and other positions. Together they account for an estimated 4 per cent of the total American workforce, the CompTIA analysis noted further.

Jobs in the area of artificial intelligence, an increasingly key element of automation, are proving to be more resilient.

Meanwhile, technology market research firm International Data Corp. has estimated that AI jobs globally could increase by as much as 16 per cent this year, reaching more than 950,000. The gains are being driven by strong demand for AI capabilities as companies contend with the aftermath of the pandemic, IDC says.

It also estimated that 40 per cent of companies worldwide are increasing their use of automation as a response to the pandemic, often following the lead of tech firms involved in the development of these capabilities.

Automation displaced workers at companies in a range of sectors in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, according to a report by tech-industry research firm Forrester Research Inc. The trend slowed down the labour market recovery in the wake of the crisis, with overall employment taking nearly two years to rebound, the report said.

"We believe that hyper-automation is where the market is headed," said Daniel Dines, chief executive of robotic process automation maker UiPath Inc. The New York-based company is already adding roughly 10 corporate customers a day, a faster clip than 2019, he added. (ANI)

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