AI Job Loss Predictions: Which Careers Are Safe, and Which Are At Risk?

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The adoption of generative AI is set to transform the nature of work, with tools replacing certain tasks and reshaping traditional work profiles in various industries.

However, many jobs remain “uniquely human” — sector by sector, the impact of artificial intelligence will be felt differently.

According to consulting firm McKinsey, generative AI’s ability to identify patterns across enormous sets of data and generate new content is “an ability that has often been considered uniquely human”.

With its ability to create, GenAI can “be used to write code, design products, create marketing content and strategies, streamline operations, analyze legal documents, provide customer service via chatbots, and even accelerate scientific discovery.”

This may be great for progress, but it is not so great for people who make their salary in roles that are now under threat.

McKinsey adds that GenAI can be used to automate processes completely or as a tool with “humans in the loop” —which is currently more common “given its current level of maturity”.


While some jobs may become partly or even fully automated, some jobs — especially those requiring personal care— cannot be easily replaced by algorithms.

And having skills in the use of AI will create new opportunities for some workers.

In this deep dive, we explore and predict the industries and jobs that may be at risk from — or safe from — the rise of the machines.

Key Takeaways

  • AI in the workplace continues to grow, with 53% of firms using it in 2023 and 24% planning for 2024.
  • Despite job concerns, 91% of companies intend to hire — but they do value AI skills in prospective employees.
  • Roles with social interaction or complex decision-making are less prone to AI replacement, and healthcare, skilled trades, education, and social services show resilience.
  • As retail and communication sectors undergo a tech transformation, they do create new roles.

AI: State of the World

According to a survey of 750 businesses by Resume Builder, around 53% of companies were using AI in 2023, and 24% plan to start in 2024.

While 44% of companies that use or plan to use AI in 2024 said that employees may be laid off, 91% said they would hire new employees, and 96% said it would be “very beneficial” (65%) or “somewhat beneficial” (31%) for potential candidates to have AI experience.

They added that employees with AI skills are more likely to have job security than those without.

Julia Toothacre, ResumeBuilder’s resume and career strategist, said:

“I would advise employees to consider all parts of their position and what could possibly be taken over by AI.
“Figure out what part of your position can’t be taken over by AI or where AI might need human intervention and become the go-to person for those tasks.
“Employees need to find ways to grow their skills and stay relevant in their field.”

Which jobs will likely see the most and the least impact from AI?

AI Job Loss Predictions: Risky and Safer Sectors

The evolving landscape of the workforce, particularly in the context of AI’s rise, is a topic of intense debate.

Clearly, roles that involve significant social or emotional interactions — such as social workers, healthcare professionals, and teachers — will be less susceptible to being replaced by AI-facilitated automation.

High-level management jobs that require complex decision-making may be less likely to be displaced, as human reasoning will remain important to the process. And customer-facing roles that require relationship-building will also remain in demand.

Anna Tavis, a clinical professor in human capital management at New York University, commented on this shift:

“There is a heightened anticipation surrounding the potential labor cost efficiencies from adopting AI.


“While it is believed that AI might replace some jobs or parts of jobs currently performed by human workers, it is important to note that these expectations might be ahead of their time. Nevertheless, given AI advancements, companies are preparing for a major organizational shift.”

The research conducted by Hiring Lab for employment agency Indeed suggests a shift in the impact of technological advancements. While past innovations in computing and robotics mainly displaced manual labor, the rise of generative AI is expected to primarily affect ‘knowledge workers.’ As the technology continues to learn specific skills associated with certain roles, genAI can augment or transform some roles but not others.

Based on their latest AI job loss predictions, 19.8% of jobs face the highest potential exposure, while 34.6% face the lowest potential exposure.

According to monthly reports from employee outplacement services and coaching firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, AI has been cited as the reason for hundreds of US job cuts so far this year, either because employers were pivoting to developing AI or because it replaced tasks and roles.

“The impact of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence adoption is beginning to be felt from a jobs perspective, particularly in Media and Tech, but truly across sectors. That said, companies are not outright blaming AI for many layoff decisions,” said Challenger.

AI Job Loss Statistics:  How GenAI May Affect Sectors

By analyzing the number of skills listed in various job postings, Hiring Lab identified thematic skillsets that help define the occupations that are most and least exposed to potential change driven by AI.

So, what jobs will AI replace?

Careers Affected by AI: Most Likely

Indeed’s research shows that AI algorithm-driven tools are the most proficient in software development, IT operations, helpdesk support, and mathematics. In contrast, they perform poorly in various manual and interpersonal tasks.

Source: Indeed

AI proficiency scores poorly in these skills — so job security may be safe for a while yet:

  • Driving
  • Beauty and wellness
  • Personal care and home health
  • Nursing
  • Childcare
  • Food preparation and service
  • Veterinary
  • Construction

Similarly, McKinsey predicts that by 2030 the adoption of automation enabled by the acceleration of generative AI will see growth in labor demand for health professionals, aides, and technicians, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professionals.

However, as the global labor market continues to adjust to the rise of remote working, the more likely a job can be done remotely, the higher the chance for a job loss due to AI.

Office support, customer service and sales, and food services roles could decline.

An LLM Cannot Drive a Truck or Build a House

Among the 25 most common jobs posted on Indeed, 20 face a lower potential exposure than the average job posting. Truck driving roles face the least potential exposure to generative AI, only rated as “good” or “excellent” at 15% of truck driver skills.

The study concluded:

“Jobs with the least potential exposure to genAI (including driving, cleaning & sanitation, and beauty & wellness) are also those with the lowest ability to be done remotely.


“The higher the odds are that a job can be done remotely, the greater its potential exposure is to genAI-driven change.”

“Historically, these are not the kinds of jobs that have been subject to disruption through automation, more evidence that this round of technological evolution will affect different workers in different ways than in the past.

The study showed that while GenAI is relatively good at technical skills (and jobs), it is pretty bad at skills (and jobs) that require intuition, reasoning, and/or in-person, manual work.

This distinction may be somewhat obvious — given how generative AI works. For drivers, a large language model (LLM) of the type that powers many generative AI tools can plan a route on a map but not turn a steering wheel – although it is worth noting that other forms of AI will enable self-driving vehicles.

For software developers, however, job loss due to AI is much higher. LLMs are likely to be able to replace much of the human work that goes into writing an efficient line of code or preparing and summarizing technical documentation.

Source: Indeed

In the meantime, Cliff Jurkiewicz, vice president of global strategy at Phenom, an HR technology company, added to the perspective:

“The retail and communications industries are going through massive technology upgrades. AI is driving expansion in tech. Like disruptive technologies before it, it is creating new roles and new skill requirements for existing roles.


“Tech professionals have an advantage. Their skill sets are highly marketable to the tremendous opportunities for tech roles in other industries. They also have the background and ability to simplify upskilling for the new AI-based roles. And these new AI roles are just the beginning, with others not far off on the horizon.”

Luckily, Some Skills are Uniquely Human

Broadly, the careers least likely to be affected by AI are those that require human empathy or manual dexterity and precision:

Careers Affected by AI: Least Likely

  • Healthcare: While AI has vast potential in the healthcare sector – from drug discovery, assisting with diagnosis, remote surgery, and treatment to administrative tasks – it is unlikely to replace healthcare professionals. Doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors rely heavily on interpersonal relationships and emotional intelligence, making many roles resilient to automation.
  • Skilled trades: Skilled trades, such as electricians, plumbers, and mechanics, require a combination of manual dexterity, problem-solving, and adaptability. These professions often involve working in unpredictable environments, which AI struggles to navigate. Additionally, carpenters, blacksmiths, and glassblowers are highly skilled in their crafts, often producing unique, customized items unlikely to lead to AI job loss.
  • Education: AI can assist in developing educational content and providing personalized learning and grading, but teachers, coaches, and other educators provide irreplaceable mentorship, guidance, and emotional support.
  • Social and community services: Professions in social work, community outreach, and advocacy rely heavily on human relationships, empathy, and understanding. These jobs involve complex decision-making and problem-solving based on the unique needs of individuals and communities. AI tools can provide data and support, making these roles more efficient, it cannot replace the personal connections and judgment calls made by human professionals.
  • Creative professions: The role of AI in generating creative content is highly controversial – fueling writers’ and actors’ strikes in Hollywood in part to limit the extent to which studios can replace them with AI-generated scripts and audio and video footage. But while AI can assist in generating content, it lacks the depth that human experience and emotional connection bring to creative output.

The job roles that fall in the middle of Hiring Labs’ analysis are the most interesting cases to study when determining the potential impact of generative AI on the future of work.

While retail jobs contain skills AI can perform well, such as developing strategies, algorithms cannot complete the person-to-person skills necessary for retail success.

Source: Indeed

The Bottom Line

AI has the potential to automate tasks across a range of industries, but some careers are more resilient to this disruption. The findings around the fields most and least exposed to potential generative AI-driven change indicate that this technological revolution will pose different challenges than earlier industrial and commercial automation stages.

Deep, expert and uniquely human knowledge will likely stay in high demand. Instead of viewing AI as a threat to employment, individuals should focus on adapting and developing these uniquely human skills that are difficult for AI to replicate.

Alex Kotran, the CEO of aiEDU, expressed his understanding regarding the common apprehensions about AI, particularly in the context of job security: “Everything is changing fast, and when your livelihood could be impacted, that causes real worry.”

However, Kotran emphasized the potential of AI to enhance job satisfaction when combined with appropriate training and preparation: “With the right training and preparation, AI can actually empower people to do more fulfilling work – it’s a tool that will help professionalize various professions.”

“The key is ensuring employees have basic proficiency to effectively collaborate with AI systems rather than be impacted by them. We want to give people the confidence, skills, and agency to see AI as a force multiplier, not a robot coming for their job.”


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Nicole Willing
Technology Journalist
Nicole Willing
Technology Journalist

Nicole is a professional journalist with 20 years of experience in writing and editing. Her expertise spans both the tech and financial industries. She has developed expertise in covering commodity, equity, and cryptocurrency markets, as well as the latest trends across the technology sector, from semiconductors to electric vehicles. She holds a degree in Journalism from City University, London. Having embraced the digital nomad lifestyle, she can usually be found on the beach brushing sand out of her keyboard in between snorkeling trips.