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Report: Automation, AI, and Boomers to Shape Next Decade's Workforce

With its latest Employment Projections report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shines a light on the ways automation and AI will impact how we work in the coming decade. (Image credit: untitled exhibitions/Flickr)

With its latest Employment Projections report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shines a light on the ways automation and AI will impact how we work in the coming decade.

It's no secret that automation is expected to continue eliminating jobs, and the report reflects that. Jobs for workers like electronics assemblers and word processers [sic], which are highly susceptible to automation, are anticipated to drop by 45,300 and 25,000, respectively, by 2026.

But the news is not all bad:

The bureau anticipates a rise in demand for statisticians, mathematicians, and software developers—occupations that will build the algorithms to control the machines that replace traditional manufacturing workers. Fulfillment jobs for online retailers will continue to grow in number, too, helping to blunt the impact of losing so many manufacturing roles.

Thanks in no small part to the aging Boomers, careers in the medical realm will see the biggest boost in job growth:

Healthcare support occupations (23.2 percent) and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (15.2 percent) are projected to be among the fastest growing occupational groups during the 2016–26 projections decade. These two occupational groups--which account for 14 of the 30 fastest growing occupations from 2016 to 2026--are projected to contribute about one-fifth of all new jobs by 2026. Factors such as the aging baby-boom population, longer life expectancies, and growing rates of chronic conditions will drive continued demand for healthcare services.

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