USA: McKinsey report shows that African American workers will be disproportionately affected by automation

Building on a previous report regarding the effect of automation on the American workforce, McKinsley & Company released a report in October 2019 showing the effect of automation on African American workers. This research suggests that African American workers will be disproportionately affected by automation due to being over represented in jobs that are the most at risk for displacement. The report suggest multiple solutions and actions to help close the wage-gap and anticipated disproportionate effects of automation on African American workers including better access to quality education, growth of local economies, and dedicating resources to helping workers transition.

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Article
9 October 2019

McKinsey report: The future of work in black America

Author: Kelemwork Cook, Duwain Pinder, Shelley Stewart III, Amaka Uchegbu & Jason Wright, McKinsey & Company

...[T]he racial wealth gap threatens to grow as norms, standards, and opportunities in the current US workplace change and exacerbate existing income disparities. One critical disrupter will be the adoption of automation and other digital technologies by companies worldwide.... [P]rior research shows... that African Americans could experience the disruptive forces of automation from a distinctly disadvantaged position, partially because they are often overrepresented in the “support roles” that are most likely to be affected by automation... We project that African Americans in the 13 community archetypes we analyzed may have a higher rate of job displacement than workers in other segments of the US population due to rising automation... By 2030, the employment outlook for African Americans—particularly men, younger workers (ages 18–35), and those without a college degree— may worsen dramatically. Additionally, we find that African Americans are geographically removed from future job growth centers and more likely to be concentrated in areas of job decline. These trends, if not addressed, could have a significant negative effect on the income generation, wealth, and stability of African American families... [O]ur research reveals opportunities for improvement within the African American workforce through strengthening local economies, shifting education profiles to align with growing sectors, engaging companies and public policy makers in developing reskilling programs, and redirecting resources to ease the transition as automation changes the landscape for African American workers.

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Article
9 October 2019

McKinsley report shows Black men are most likely to be displaced by automation

Author: Olivia Riggio, DiversityInc

"Black Men's Jobs Most Likely to be Displaced by Automation, Study Says", 9 October, 2019

A new McKinsey & Company study, “The Future of Work in Black America” reveals this shift to automation will hit African American men the hardest... The McKinsey study found three factors leading to Black men feeling the brunt of this shift: One, African American men are overrepresented in high-displacement job categories... [including] food service, factory workers, data-entry workers and retail workers. Two, African American men are underrepresented in low-displacement job categories, which include occupations like farming, teaching and nursing as well as creative, business and legal jobs. Third, African American men are less likely to live in areas expected to see the most economic growth in the next decade... The study found Black women were less likely to feel the brunt of automation because they are more represented in healthcare jobs... The mean displacement across the entire Black workforce is 23.1%, but for Black men, its 24.8%. For Black women, the rate is lower at 21.6%... To help remedy this issue, the report recommends improving the areas in which African American communities live and improving access to good education.

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