PwC’s 2024 AI Jobs Barometer reveals AI’s impact on jobs, wages, skills, and productivity

AI Jobs Barometer

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  • Insight
  • 10 minute read
  • 06 Jun 2024

PwC’s 2024 AI Jobs Barometer goes beyond predictions about AI’s impact to find evidence of how AI is transforming the world of work, making people and businesses more productive while changing what it takes for workers to succeed.

500m+ jobs

Over half a billion job ads analysed

15 countries

Across Europe, North America and Asia

30%+ GDP

Countries analysed comprise over 30% of global GDP

PwC examined half a billion job ads from 15 countries including Australia, to uncover AI’s impact 

AI is the Industrial Revolution of knowledge work, transforming how workers can use information, find insights, and deliver results at speed and scale. How is this affecting jobs? And what does this mean for jobs in Australia?

To find out, PwC analysed over half a billion job ads from 15 countries that together comprise over 30% of global GDP to find empirical evidence of AI’s impact. PwC examined how jobs are changing in industry sectors and individual occupations that are ‘AI-exposed’ which means AI can readily be used for some tasks. Examples of AI-exposed occupations are financial analysts, customer service agents, and software coders.

World map

Our data1 suggests that AI is already making workers much more productive. Sectors that are especially exposed to AI are experiencing nearly 5 times higher growth in labour productivity. Growing labour productivity is a key driver of economic growth and rising living standards. Accordingly, AI is good news for a world facing persistently sluggish productivity growth.

PwC’s 2024 Global CEO Survey indicates that 84%2 of CEOs whose companies have begun to adopt AI believe it will increase efficiency in their employees’ time at work over the next 12 months (67% in Australia3). Increasing productivity means more than just doing the old things faster. It also means finding new, AI-powered ways to create value. 60%4 of Australia’s CEOs say that AI will significantly change the way their company creates, delivers and captures value over the next three years.


Higher growth in labour productivity in AI-exposed sectors

PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

The implications for business are huge. Global CEOs anticipate that AI will deliver significant top and bottom line benefits with 46%5 saying it will increase profitability in the next 12 months. In Australia 37%6 of CEO's agreed.

All of this adds up to a positive story for the economy - locally and globally - a revolution in productivity and value creation.

AI is helping to ease labour shortages

In AI-exposed occupations from teaching to IT, jobs are still growing, but 27%more slowly on average. This could be good news for many nations facing shrinking working age populations and vast unmet needs for labour in many sectors. AI can help to overcome labour shortages that could put a brake on economic growth.

The findings for Australia found both an increase in demand for AI skilled workers – this has been strongest in the financial services, professional services and the information and communication sectors. Since 2012, there has been an associated wage premium, of up to 17% for some lucky outliers.8

The average wage premium, however, is 6%lower than the global average of 14% from the other countries surveyed including the US, UK and Canada. The global data also showed an almost fivefold (4.8x) greater labour productivity growth for those sectors with the highest AI penetration.


Lower job growth in AI-exposed occupations (though jobs still growing overall)

PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

It’s important to emphasise that job numbers in AI-exposed occupations are still growing. Our data suggests that AI does not herald an era of job losses but rather more gradual jobs growth, helping to ensure there are enough workers so that organisations can find the people they need.

What this means for workers: Build skills to succeed in an AI era

What does this mean for a worker — say, a typical financial analyst? It means they must adapt to a changing jobs market. The skills required by employers in AI-exposed occupations are changing fast. Old skills are disappearing from job ads — and new skills are appearing — 25%10 faster in these roles than in roles less exposed to AI.

Employer demand for many skill sets that AI can assist with to some degree — such as coding in Javascript — is declining fast, while demand for many skills that make use of AI — or are hard for AI to do (like sports coaching or ecological restoration) — is booming.


Higher skills change in AI-exposed occupations

PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

Workers in AI-exposed roles may need to demonstrate or acquire new skills to stay relevant in a jobs market that is fast-evolving. PwC’s 2024 CEO Survey shows that 52% of Australia’s CEOs moderately anticipate that AI will require most of their workforce to develop new skills in the next 3 years, a further 11% strongly agree. Interestingly, workers, companies, and policymakers share responsibility for helping workers rapidly develop the skills to remain relevant and embrace the opportunity AI brings. Workers who build the skills to harness AI can help to redefine how work is done in their profession.11

No going back to yesterday’s jobs market - but vast opportunities for those who adapt to an AI age

The good news for workers is that if they learn how to use AI, they could be more productive — and hence more valuable to employers. In fact, AI is redefining what it means to be a financial analyst, a customer service agent, or a marketer (and many other roles), opening up whole new possibilities for these workers to deliver results.

“We have some work to do to make sure we keep pace with the rest of the world,” he said. “It’s so important that we double down on the great foundations we’ve already got and look at how we grow to stay in the race, otherwise I do see a longer-term trend where we could start to lose AI talent offshore. “It is not too late to catch up, as a nation, we need to think about where our strengths are today, what we want to be known for globally. And there’s absolutely areas within the agenda of AI that we are well positioned to lead on globally.”

Tom Pagram,Partner, AI Leader and Global AI Factory Leader, PwC Australia

Many workers agree. PwC’s 2023 Hopes & Fears Survey shows that a majority of workers in Australia expect a positive impact from AI with 22% anticipating that AI will increase their productivity/efficiency and and 17% saying it could help them learn valuable new skills. The Hopes & Fears Australian data12 showed only 44% of respondents were confident their employers will provide them with the opportunity to apply the skills that are most important to their career, in the next five years, while only 27% believe the skills required for their job will change significantly during that time.

Many who predict AI will cause a sharp decline in the total number of jobs are asking the wrong question. 

Far from heralding the end of jobs, AI signals the start of a new era in which workers can be more productive and valuable than ever.

Embracing AI is the key to a bright future for workers

Workers who learn to harness AI are likely to have bright futures in which they can generate greater value and could consequently have greater bargaining power for wages — all within a context of rising societal prosperity.

AI’s ability to make workers more valuable is made clear by what is happening to the small set of workers with highly specialised technical AI skills (like machine learning) — the very people who are making the AI revolution possible. Growth in jobs that require specialist AI skills has outpaced growth in all jobs since 2016. These specialist jobs carry up to a 25%13 wage premium, underlining the value of these skills to companies.


Wage premium for workers with AI skills

PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

PwC’s 2024 AI Jobs Barometer reveals tumultuous change — and vast opportunity. Download the full global report below for more insight into AI’s transformative impact on jobs and business. 

Download the PwC Global 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

Delve deeper into AI’s impact on the jobs of today and tomorrow with the full AI Jobs Barometer report.

Download (PDF of 3.41mb)

Unlocking Australia's growth potential: Insights from the 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

Tom Pagram, PwC Australia’s AI Leader, shares further thoughts on the 2024 AI Jobs Barometer and explores the state of AI adoption in Australia and the practical steps that business leaders can take to better unlock the benefits from AI.


1. PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer
2. PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey
3. PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey - Australian insights
4. PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey - Australian insights
5. PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey
6. PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey - Australian insights
7. PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer
8. Sources: PwC analysis of Lightcast data Notes: In this figure we consider seven of the 21 sectors. The seven sectors capture public, private and financial sectors and are commonly considered together in socio-economic analysis. Sectors excluded: Agriculture, Mining, Power, Water, Retail trade, Transportation, Accommodation, Real Estate, Administrative activities, Arts and Entertainment, Household activities and Extraterritorial Activities.Fluctuations in yearly data should be considered in the context of broader trends, as they may result from various temporary or sector-specific factors, including the impact of events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
9. PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer
10. PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer
11. PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey - Australian insights
12. PwC's 2023 Hopes & Fears Survey
13. PwC 2024 AI Jobs Barometer

Contact us

Tom Pagram

Partner, AI Leader and Global AI Factory Leader, PwC Australia


Jahanzeb Azim

Partner, Generative AI Advisory Leader, PwC Australia


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