Hourly employees unconcerned about AI impact: report

'Leaders are optimistic that AI and ML (machine learning) will augment their workforce and drive productivity'

Hourly employees unconcerned about AI impact: report

A majority of hourly workers don't appear to be concerned over the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, a new report has revealed, despite growing job insecurity across the world over the emerging tech.

Fifty-six per cent of the over 3,000 hourly workers surveyed in the U.S. said they are unconcerned about the impact of AI on their work, according to a new report from workforce payments platform Branch.

The findings come amid growing concerns that AI would eventually replace employees. Previous research from Goldman Sachs even warned that the rapid rise of AI tools could expose 300 million full-time jobs.

But these findings don't seem to reflect hourly workers, where 53% of them even said they are interested in experimenting with AI tools.

This comes as previous research found that even business leaders acknowledge the benefits of AI tools, saying that it increased productivity (39%) and improved collaboration (35%) in the workplace.

"Despite some uncertainty, leaders are optimistic that AI and ML (machine learning) will augment their workforce and drive productivity," said Jim Stratton, chief technology officer at Workday, in a statement.

Growing demand for flexibility

Meanwhile, the report also found that the demand for flexibility is growing among hourly workers.

"Over the course of the Branch Report, flexibility has become increasingly important to attract and retain hourly workers," said Atif Siddiqi, Founder and CEO of Branch, in a statement.

Nearly three in four hourly employees (39%) said they want greater flexibility and control over when they worked, according to the report.

"As the workforce continues to welcome new generations, this need is only going to grow, whether that's offering flexibility in how they pick up work or receive their earnings," Siddiqi said.

Higher pay over a new job

Higher compensation is also high on hourly workers' list of demands, with 77% citing this as their most wanted from their workplace.

The demand for higher pay comes as 45% of employees express negative perception on the economy, and with majority of them concerned over home/rent affordability (62%), groceries (56%), and utility bills (54%).

In fact, 16% of employees said they want financial stability from their employers. In terms of benefits, they also said they want bonus pay (73%) and on-demand or faster pay (31%).

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