8 million UK jobs at risk of ‘job apocalypse’ due to AI

In today’s rapidly evolving world, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the job market as we know it. A recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) paints a stark picture of the future, warning of an impending ‘job apocalypse’ that could impact over eight million careers in the UK. But amidst the dire predictions lies a glimmer of hope for a future where technological advancements could lead to novel job opportunities, increased productivity, and economic benefits for all.

**The Current AI Landscape:**

The IPPR report identifies two key stages of generative AI adoption. The first wave, already underway, has exposed 11 percent of tasks performed by UK workers to automation. Routine cognitive tasks like database management and scheduling are at risk, with potential implications for a wide range of jobs. However, the real threat looms in a potential second wave, where AI could handle a staggering 59 percent of tasks, impacting higher-earning jobs and non-routine cognitive work like database creation.

**Navigating the Future:**

Bhargav Srinivasa Desikan, Senior Research Fellow at IPPR, emphasizes the need for a strategic approach to technological change. Jobs such as copywriters, graphic designers, and personal assistants could be heavily affected by AI, but opportunities for growth and innovation exist if we can steer the course effectively. The report models three scenarios for the future, from a worst-case scenario of 7.9 million job losses to a best-case scenario where no jobs are lost and GDP sees a significant boost.

**The Call for Action:**

IPPR urges immediate government intervention to prevent the worst-case displacement, advocating for a ‘job-centric’ AI strategy with fiscal incentives, regulation ensuring human oversight, and support for green jobs less exposed to automation. The report also highlights the disproportionate impact on certain demographics, with women and young people facing the gravest jeopardy in entry-level positions. Carsten Jung, Senior Economist at IPPR, stresses the importance of managing technological transition effectively to avoid a potential jobs apocalypse.


As we stand at a ‘sliding doors’ moment in history, the decisions we make now will shape the future of work for generations to come. By heeding the warnings of the IPPR report and taking proactive steps to manage the impact of AI on the job market, we can create a future where technological advancements benefit all workers, not just a select few. It’s time for policy makers, employers, and unions to come together and pave the way for a future where innovation and job security go hand in hand.

Are you ready to dive into the complexities of AI and its impact on jobs? Read the full IPPR report here and join the conversation on the future of work in the age of artificial intelligence.

Categorized as AI

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