Record number of workers fear being replaced by technology.

Although most American workers are not concerned about being replaced ⁣by rapidly advancing technology, the amount of those who fear a trend has risen to its fastest rate ever.

Fear ⁣of becoming obsolete (FOBO) has grown ⁢more in the past two years than at any time in the history of‌ the Gallup Poll that started‍ in 2017.

‍ According to Gallup on Sept. 11, ⁤22 percent of workers fear that⁢ new technology will⁢ be⁢ used to replace them,​ up ⁢from 15 percent in 2021—a jump of 7 percentage points.

Previous polls ⁢on the ‍topic held steady​ between 13 and 17 percent.

The‌ polling organization reported that the current rise in FOBO is almost ‍entirely ⁤amongst college-educated workers, which rose from⁤ 8 to 20 percent.

FOBO for workers without college degrees remained virtually​ unchanged at ⁢24 ⁢percent since ⁢2021.

In the ‍past, concerns about ‍technological⁢ replacement were mainly limited to non-college-educated workers. But​ recent advancements are now resulting in a similar ​level of concern expressed among both groups.

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whereas non-college-educated ⁤workers were ​previously ‍much​ more concerned about technological replacement than college-educated‌ workers, these ‌groups now express ⁢similar levels of⁣ concern,”‍ Gallup said.

Younger and Less Well Off⁤ Worry About Jobs

⁢ ​ The gap​ between younger and older workers, as well as between​ those making less and more than $100,000 a year, continue to widen regarding concerns⁤ over career obsolescence.

FOBO increased ‌only 2 percentage points among workers over 55​ years ⁣of age but soared 11 points for​ those between 18 and 34.

Workers making ⁤less than $100,000 recorded‌ a 10⁤ point jump in FOBO, while ⁣those making over $100,000 saw a 5 point rise.

Concerns have risen ⁣equally⁤ among men and‍ women, with both genders expressing a similar​ rise ⁤in fear between age groups.

Although the number of workers concerned over artificial ⁢intelligence (AI) and other technological advancements replacing​ their jobs rose 22 percent, a reduction in benefits remains the most common‍ concern for employees.

Dirk ⁤Kaftan, general ‌music director of the Beethoven Orchester Bonn perform on ​stage during the rehearsal⁣ for the world premiere of Beethoven’s 10th symphony, completed by artificial intelligence in Bonn, Germany on Oct. ⁢9,‌ 2021. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Out of the six⁣ major concerns in the survey,⁢ only⁢ the fear ‌that technology could threaten jobs has increased significantly since 2021.

The other five job fears ‌remain⁤ well below ‌their highs from after the ​Great Recession, between mid-2009 to mid-2013.

Still, FOBO remains well below loss of benefits and wage reduction as the​ top concern facing American workers. Those are major issues for roughly ⁤one in five workers, Gallup said.

Nearly a third ​or 31⁢ percent of respondents said they were worried about losing⁢ their job benefits in the near ⁣future,‍ followed by wage reductions⁣ at 24‍ percent.

Fears ‌of being laid⁣ off stood ‍at⁣ 20 percent and ‍having ‍hours cut⁣ back was a problem for 19 percent of workers—the lowest levels since the mid-2000s.

Offshoring was the least worrisome concern at 7 ⁣percent, the lowest in Gallup’s trend ⁤by one point.

Rise of AI Concerning College-Educated Americans

The results of the poll come as writers and actors complain ​about Hollywood‍ studios’ use of artificial intelligence amid ‍strikes and calls for regulations around‍ the use ‌of the technology.

⁢ As one of their key demands, the Writers Guild of America has called for studios to “regulate ‍use of material ​produced using⁢ artificial ​intelligence or similar ⁢technologies” in television and movie⁣ productions.

After the release of ChatGPT last November showed the ability of AI to mimic​ human language, many workers are increasingly concerned about what‌ computers can⁣ do in⁢ the workplace.

Aidan Meller looks at a painting by Ai-Da Robot, an ultra-realistic humanoid robot artist, during a press call at The British Library in London, England on April 4, 2022 . (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Instead ⁤of just robots⁤ supplanting humans in warehouses and on⁤ assembly lines, technological change ​has expanded to mean that AI ⁣software is now ​able to conduct ⁤some sophisticated ‍online​ tasks, such writing computer code.

Although ‍the​ minority‍ of workers⁤ see an imminent threat to their jobs, most ⁣are no more worried today about their work than they were two years⁢ ago, as many remain positive about the U.S. labor market.

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