ECB Research Bulletin: AI's Impact on Wages and Employment Yet to Be Seen

28 November 2023

By Isabel Teles – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – The extent to which AI-enabled technology has impacted wages and employment in Europe to date is not clear yet, according to a research bulletin published Tuesday by the European Central Bank.

While the proportion to total employment of occupations exposed to AI-enabled technologies had increased in the decade prior to the current one, wage data was ‘less clear and suggests neutral to slightly negative impacts’ of AI, the bulletin said.

‘Most of their [AI-enabled technologies] impact on employment and wages – and therefore on growth and equality – has yet to be seen’, the authors of the bulletin said.

Concerns about labour becoming obsolete in the wake of technological improvements had been invalidated repeatedly in the past, the bulletin note.

‘The outcome for jobs depends on whether the AI-enabled technologies will substitute or complement labour’, it said.

Moreover, the impact of those technologies varied across countries and might reflect ‘differences in underlying economic factors… in product and labour markets’, the bulletin said.

The authors of the bulletin concluded that, given AI-enabled technologies’ ongoing evolution and increasing use, it remained early to determine its full effect.