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Invaluable Tool or Inevitable Threat? More Working Canadians Want Artificial Intelligence and Automation than Fear Negative Impact on Job Prospects

Invaluable Tool or Inevitable Threat? More Working Canadians Want Artificial Intelligence and Automation than Fear Negative Impact on Job Prospects

New ADP Canada Sentiment Study shows one in three Canadians say automation would help performance while one in four worried about impact on job prospects

April 25, 2018, TORONTO: Working Canadians appear less worried about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and automation on their future job prospects than many may expect, according to the results of a recent ADP Canada Sentiment Study polling 851 working Canadians conducted by Leger.

 

While slightly more than one-quarter (27%) of working Canadians fear their job is at risk due to the potential introduction of A.I./machine learning/automation in their workplaces, nearly one-in-three (31%) believe the introduction of these new approaches would help them do their job better – more so than any other mainstream technology available today. Three-in-five (59%) said they believe A.I. and automation will have a positive impact on the workforce overall in the future.

 

“Much of the narrative around A.I. and automation in the workforce to date has included speculation about job loss,” said Holger Kormann, President, ADP Canada. “However, the reality is that many Canadian employees see these tools as the next wave of resources to help them improve personal productivity and performance and not as a threat to job security or future employment prospects.”

 

Nearly all respondents (97%) say that technology has impacted the way they work each day, with smartphones (83%), laptop (80%) and desktop (79%) computers and social media (61%) having the greatest impact.

 

Some of the insights gleaned from the survey include:

 

Geography

  • Workers in Quebec (34%) were most likely to feel that their job is or will be at risk because of automation, while workers in oil-rich regions like Alberta (19%) and Atlantic Canada (12%) feel least at risk.
  • Nearly two-in-five (38%) BC workers feel A.I./machine learning would help them do their job better if adopted by their employers.
  • Workers in urban centers (33%) are twice as likely as those in rural communities (16%) to worry about automation impacting their current or future roles.

Demographics

  • More than one-third of Canadian workers under the age of 45 (33% of workers aged 18-34, 35% of workers aged 35-44) feel their job is or will be at risk due to automation.
  • Men (30%) are more likely than women (24%) to believe their job is or will be at risk due to automation.
  • Workers that earn more than $80K annually (19%) are substantially less concerned about automation’s potential impact on their roles than those earning less than $40K (35%) or between $40K and $79K (38%).

  • Technology

    • Tablets (55%) and messaging apps (48%) play a role in the way roughly half of all Canadians work each day.
    • A.I./machine learning (31%), tablets (27%), messaging apps like Slack and WhatsApp (25%) and smartphones (20%) are the most desired technologies/innovations that employees believe would benefit their ability to perform their job if introduced by their employers.
    Click here to download infographic

     

    “Job security is a critical consideration for Canadian workers,” adds Kormann. “Communication is key in tackling concerns early when adopting new technologies. Employers that engage their workforces early in the adoption process, and clearly outline how and why these new tools will benefit their employees’ day-to-day roles, are likely to see greater employee support, improved workforce satisfaction and productivity, and a better return on investment and increased impact on the bottom line.”

     

    Survey Methodology

    An online survey of 851 working Canadians was completed between March 5 - 8, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Respondents answered the survey only if they work full time, part time, or were self-employed.   

     

    About ADP Canada

    ADP Canada gives organizations of every size the tools to help their people thrive. From basic payroll to complex people management systems and analytics, we help business leaders make better decisions. Our clients trust ADP to provide strategic insights and on-demand expertise to build and inspire the workforce they need. Visit us at www.adp.ca or .

     

    For further information:

    Erin Griffin

    Kaiser Lachance Communications

    647-725-2520 ex. 221

    erin.griffin@kaiserlachance.com

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