A recent report by PWC finds that the construction, manufacturing, and transport industries continue to lag behind other industries in artificial intelligence (AI) adoption rates, which is preventing them from reaping increased productivity and other benefits.

“We have seen … three sectors - financial services, IT, and professional services - have higher AI exposure and higher AI penetration. The data shows that these three sectors are seeing nearly 5x faster productivity growth than sectors with lower AI exposure such as transport, manufacturing and construction,” says PWC in its new report, 2024 AI Jobs Barometer: How will AI affect jobs, skills, wages, and productivity? 

The study also said AI could help the construction industry address one of its most nagging challenges: labor shortages. "AI may be able to help with deep economic challenges. Sectors more exposed to AI are seeing sharply higher labor productivity. We find that AI can help ease labor shortages that are likely to become more acute as populations age. 

Across all industries surveyed, PwC’s 2024 Global CEO Survey confirms that 84% of CEOs whose companies have begun to adopt AI believe it will increase efficiency in their employees’ time at work.

"Increasing productivity means more than just doing the old things faster. It also means finding new, AI-powered ways to create value," says PWC. 70% of CEOs say that AI will significantly change how their company creates, delivers and captures value over the next three years.

The report also addresses a big concern from today's workforce: AI will take their jobs. Not so fast, says PWC. 

“Far from heralding the end of jobs, AI signals the start of a new era in which workers can be more productive and valuable than ever,” says the report. “Instead of focusing only on how AI can take on some tasks formerly done by people, we should think inventively about how to make the most of AI to create new industries and new roles for people. Embracing AI in this way is one way to bring about continued positive outcomes for workers,” the report adds. 

Finally, like it or not, AI is here to stay. PWC says that companies and employees will find ways to leverage it rather than fight it. "There is no going back to yesterday's jobs market, but - if carefully managed - the AI revolution could bring a bright future for workers and companies," PWC says. 898