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Generative AI and the future of work in America

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Generative AI and the future of work in America


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Explore how generative AI is positioned to reshape the landscape of work in America.

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In this timely update on the future of work in the United States, researchers from the McKinsey Global Institute examine the trends that have emerged since their 2019 study on automation and US workplaces. They catalog the forces shaping their forecast, including lasting pandemic effects, federal investment and technological advances, particularly AI. In the post-pandemic landscape, the emergence of generative AI tools like ChatGPT raises job loss concerns. The researchers emphasize the likelihood of significant shifts in occupational demand, urging you to prepare for job transitions amid ongoing uncertainty as companies work to build an inclusive, productivity-driven economy.


The pandemic changed the US job market and increased the demand for better, higher-paying jobs.

Examining the job market that experts believe will develop in the United States in the decade leading up to 2033 requires considering its current trajectory. After COVID-19 setbacks, the US job market rebounded strongly, maintaining an unemployment rate below 4% for more than a year, dating from early 2022. Significant occupational shifts occurred during this tight labor market, as people quit their jobs to pursue better prospects and higher pay in both 2021 (48 million people) and 2022 (51 million people).

Managers and professionals who make essential contributions in business, law and STEM fields thrived due to remote work. These sectors collectively added 3.3 million jobs between 2019 and 2022. The surge in e-commerce bolstered transportation services, notably warehousing, resulting in more than 30% growth in jobs for workers handling stock and filling orders, and around 15% growth in shipping, receiving and inventory clerking. Researchers expect similar trends to persist into the future.

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About the Authors

The report’s authors are research leaders Kweilin Ellingrud, an McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) director, McKinsey partner Saurabh Sanghvi; MGI senior expert and associate partner Gurneet Singh Dandona; MGI partners Anu Madgavkar and Michael Chui; MGI director Olivia White; and project team leader Paige Hasebe.  MGI executive editor Lisa Renaud edited the report.

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