It’s impossible to say precisely how artificial intelligence will disrupt the job market, so researchers at PwC have taken a birds eye view from the top down, and pointed to the results of sweeping economic changes.
Their prediction, in a new report out Tuesday, is that it’ll all balance out in the end.
More automation in trucks, factories and elsewhere could decimate around 7 million existing jobs in the UK by 2037. But the rise in robots and machine-learning software will make the country more productive over the next two decades, growing at a 2% annual clip, to put nearly the same number of jobs back in the system: 7.2 million, PwC estimates.
To be clear those new jobs won’t involve building robots or coding AI-powered software, which will only make up around 5% of employment, says John Hawksworth, PwC’s chief economist.
Instead around 1.5 million, or 22%, of the new jobs will be in health and social work. Demand will rise for areas “that require a human touch and aren’t so easy to automate,” Hawksworth told Forbes, all the more necessary as the population ages.
Most of that growth, though, is just a byproduct of a bigger economy.
More taxes will go into government coffers, which will mean more funding for the UK’s National Health Service. “Economic growth will promote higher tax revenues for the government to spend more on the NHS, including bringing in more staff,” he says.
Other studies have come to broadly similar conclusions, including a study by Oxford Economics in December 2017, Hawsworth adds.