by Charbel Dawlabani, in collaboration with the Economics Student Society


The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has had a significant impact on the global market. As AI becomes increasingly sophisticated, its influence extends simple automation, shaking various employment cycles to their core. This has been particularly exacerbated by the recent surge in AI capabilities, including the rise of all-purpose chatbots, such as ChatGPT, which has led to a reevaluation of the skills warranted in the workforce. Although a study by McKinsey Global Institute suggests that AI could potentially deliver an additional $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030, its impact on employment and the economy as a whole remains to be elucidated. A notable study from Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence indicates that the effects of AI on employment vary across developed and developing nations, with AI acting as a driver of job evolution in the former while posing challenges, especially through automation, in the latter.

Accordingly, the ability of different labor markets across the globe to adapt to these changes varies significantly, raising concerns about the readiness of different sectors to harness the potential of AI without exacerbating unemployment and inequality. While the initial structural displacement induced by AI will be uncomfortable, AI, indeed, will offset said losses by providing a plethora of novel, specialized jobs, ultimately advancing humanity into an age of even faster progress and heightened productivity.

The fear of AI-induced job displacement is particularly justified by the unquestionable potential of AI to replace some trivial professions, as well as historical precedent; technological revolutions have always demonstrated patterns of initial discontent and disruption followed by economic growth and the birth of novel industries and jobs. Nevertheless, the unprecedented speed at which AI is progressing warrants a thorough investigation into its role in job displacement and creation. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute has reported that over 800 million jobs are at risk of termination owing to AI, with this risk being particularly exacerbated for the manufacturing, customer service, and transportation industries.

The World Economic Forum shares similar insights, stating that over 85 million jobs could be displaced by AI and that over 75% of surveyed companies would like to use AI to replace current workers. In contrast, the aforementioned report has also projected that over 133 million new AI-related jobs will be created by 2025. These jobs will most likely be white collar, focusing on the development, integration, and maintenance of AI, in addition to other jobs in the STEM field. Particularly, AI research and development, data science, machine learning engineering, AI ethics, AI system integration and maintenance, and AI-driven product design will emerge as novel, in-demand professions. 

Moreover, many of these AI jobs will require advanced technical skills and, therefore, warrant higher salaries and fees. Projections indicate a continuously rising increase in compensation, with the McKinsey Global Institute suggesting that compensation for AI specialists could grow by a mean of 12–18% per year over the next 10 years, significantly outperforming the pay raise of other traditional professions. Fortunately, there are various approaches to mitigate the risk of AI-induced displacement. Obviously, one should focus on uniquely human skills that cannot be mimicked by AI, as well as tasks that require a deep emotional connection between those involved.

According to the World Economic Forum, analytical thinking and innovation, active learning and learning strategies, and creativity are of the top 10 most in-demand skills by employers in the era of AI. Most importantly, understanding the basics of AI is essential for the effective leverage of AI tools and identifies novel job opportunities. While the concerns pertaining to AI and job displacement are justified, it is essential to recognize its potential in creating high paying jobs across various sectors. Navigating this structural change warrants an innovative approach that comprises keeping up with the latest skill set demands, an impeccable command of AI tools and literacy, and a constant will to grow and learn.

On a broader economic scale, the integration of AI into various sectors, notably manufacturing, not only transforms employment landscapes but also significantly boosts productivity and efficiency across industries. AI-driven predictive maintenance, for example, can significantly reduce costs and downtime. A Deloitte study found that predictive maintenance can decrease maintenance costs by up to 10%, reduce unplanned downtime by 20%, and extend the lifespan of equipment by years. 

Moreover, AI technologies optimize manufacturing processes through smart automation. AI-powered robots can perform repetitive and complex tasks with high precision, reducing errors and increasing overall efficiency. Additionally, AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of production data enables real-time process optimization, leading to improved product quality and reduced material waste. A recent study conducted by Harvard and BCG, found that organizations effectively integrating AI technologies reported a significant 40% increase in productivity. This increase underscores the potential of AI to drive efficiency and innovation across various sectors.

All in all, while AI presents challenges to the global job market, it also offers unparalleled opportunities for growth and innovation. Young adults entering the workforce should embrace this change with adaptability, resilience, and a proactive mindset. By focusing on uniquely human skills, developing AI literacy, and continually upskilling, the next generation of workers can harness the power of AI to drive progress and prosperity. As you embark on your professional journey, remember that your adaptability, curiosity, and willingness to learn will be your greatest assets in navigating this transformative era.



Bughin, J., Seong, J., Manyika, J., Chui, M., & Joshi, R. (2018, September 4). Notes from the AI Frontier: Modeling the impact of AI on the World Economy. McKinsey & Company. 

Deloitte Insights. “Predictive Maintenance: The Next Era for Industrial Operations.”, Deloitte,

Ellingrud, Kweilin, et al. “Generative AI and the Future of Work in America.” McKinsey & Company, McKinsey & Company, 26 July 2023,

Georgieff, A., & Hyee, R. (2022). Artificial Intelligence and Employment: New cross-country evidence. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence5.  

(N.d.). OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers. 

Pontefract, Dan. “Harvard and BCG Unveil the Double-Edged Sword of AI in the Workplace.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 4 Oct. 2023, 

“The Future of Jobs Report 2020.” World Economic Forum, Accessed 17 Mar. 2024.