AI Revolution Boosting Productivity and Wages Across Global Sectors

21/05/2024

According to a report, sectors in the global economy with significant exposure to artificial intelligence (AI) are experiencing notable increases in productivity and commanding higher wages.

A study by PwC has raised hopes that AI could potentially lift the global economy out of a 15-year low-growth period. The study found that productivity growth in sectors with high AI penetration was nearly five times faster than in less exposed sectors.

In the UK, as highlighted in the report covering 15 countries, job postings requiring AI skills are growing 3.6 times faster compared to all job listings.

Employers in the UK are offering a 14% wage premium, on average, for jobs that demand AI skills, with the legal and information technology sectors seeing the highest premiums.

The increase in productivity in sectors more reliant on AI, such as financial services, information technology, and professional services, was slightly above the global average in the UK.

Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group, said: “It’s no surprise to see key industries such as technology and financial services thriving with the support of AI, enhancing the productivity of staff. With job postings requiring AI skills growing 3.6 times faster than those without, it is essential that businesses provide specialist AI skills training to ensure staff can maximise its benefits. The key now is to continue spreading AI skills across the labour market, creating a high-skilled, multi-generational UK workforce that can harness AI across all industries and contribute to economic prosperity.”

Scott Lewis, SVP for Ataccama, commented “The fact that productivity in high AI-use areas grew almost five times faster than in less AI-exposed sectors, with jobs requiring AI skills growing 3.6 times faster than those without, is no surprise. As the digital landscape evolves, the most successful businesses are those that fully utilise AI tools to automate necessary repetitive tasks like data cleansing and transformation, thereby increasing staff productivity and, as a result, better business outcomes.

This automation ensures the production of high-quality, governed data essential for reliable AI outcomes, allowing employees to focus on more valuable and meaningful work such as data analysis. Additionally, AI accelerates the extraction of insights from business data, enabling deeper analysis that supports decision-making, such as identifying customer behaviour trends, potential product innovations, and areas for improvement.”

Barret Kupelian, the chief economist at PwC UK, said: “Our findings show that AI has the power to create new industries, transform the jobs market and potentially push up productivity growth rates. In terms of the economic impact, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg – currently, our findings suggest that the adoption of AI is concentrated in a few sectors of the economy, but once the technology improves and diffuses across other sectors of the economy, the future potential could be transformative.”

The Latest Stories

An Introduction to The AI Act: What You Need To Know 
Edinburgh Business School offers in-demand industry skills through Coursera’s Career Academy
How AI is changing the game for businesses
New research ranks best UK locations for AI businesses