AI To Reduce Worker Numbers, Staffing Firm Adecco Warns

There has been another warning about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on people’s jobs in the years ahead.

Reuters cited a new survey Swiss–French company Adecco Group, the world’s second largest Human Resources provider and temporary staffing firm, in which it warned that AI will lead to many companies employing fewer people in the next five years.

This is not the only warning about the impact AI will have on people’s jobs in the years ahead. In June 2023 recruitment specialist Totaljobs had suggested AI would fundamentally change the workplace in the UK, as well as the recruitment process.

The new AI law will include regulations to govern the development of generative AI.

Jobs warning

Then in August 2023 kills provider Corndel revealed that staff are increasingly worried about AI’s impact on their job security, with younger employees in particular fearing their jobs are at risk from AI.

In January 2024 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed the potential scale of job losses, after it warned that nearly 40 percent of jobs worldwide could be affected by AI.

The IMF also said that AI would likely to have more of an impact on highly developed economies, affecting about 60 percent of jobs.

Roughly half of those jobs may benefit as workers see improved productivity, but for the other half AI could perform tasks currently carried out by humans, the IMF stated at the time.

Last year for example BT announced it was cutting 55,000 jobs by 2030, and said that a fifth of the roles would be replaced by AI.

A new AI jobs warning came last month, when left-of-centre thinktank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), warned in a new report that almost 8 million UK jobs could be lost to artificial intelligence in a “jobs apocalypse”.

And AI is already said to be used by most organisations and businesses.

In October last year research from US-based HR, payroll, and workforce management software provider UKG, found AI is now used by majority of organisations, but most staff are unaware of it.

Adecco warning

Now Reuters has cited the new Adecco survey that AI will lead to many companies employing fewer people in the next five years.

Some 41 percent of senior executives expect to have smaller workforces because of AI technology, Adecco reportedly said in a report based on a survey of executives at 2,000 large companies worldwide.

But while most senior executives surveyed by Adecco say AI is a game changer, the vast majority reportedly say they have not made enough progress in adopting the technology.

“Almost all jobs are going to be impacted by AI one way or another,” Adecco CEO Denis Machuel told Reuters. “AI can be a job killer and it can also be a job creator.”

“Ten years ago there was this big fear many jobs are going to be destroyed by digital, when actually lots of jobs have been created by the digital world,” he said. “Between jobs created by AI and jobs destroyed, we believe this is going to be balanced.”

Companies need to prepare for the disruption by training their staff to work with AI, Machuel reportedly said, rather than relying on recruiting specialists from outside.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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