AI’s Impact on Wages: A European Perspective


A recent study by the European Central Bank (ECB) has brought new insights into the ongoing debate about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the job market. Contrary to the common fear of AI replacing human jobs, the study suggests that AI might pose a greater threat to wages than to employment itself.

Key Takeaways:

  • AI technology is creating jobs, especially for younger and high-skilled workers.
  • The employment share in AI-exposed sectors has increased in 16 European countries.
  • AI has a neutral to slightly negative impact on wage growth.
  • The study contrasts with previous technology waves, which decreased medium-skilled employment.
  • AI’s full impact on employment and wages is yet to be seen.

The Study’s Findings

Job Creation vs. Wage Pressure

The ECB’s research, focusing on the period of the deep learning boom in the 2010s, indicates that AI has so far been a job creator, particularly benefiting younger and high-skilled workers. However, it also points to a concerning trend where wages in AI-exposed sectors are not growing as expected.

Sectoral Shifts

The study, which examined 16 European countries, found that employment shares in sectors exposed to AI have increased. This shift has left low- and medium-skill jobs largely unaffected, while highly-skilled positions have seen the most significant growth.

Wages Under Scrutiny

Despite the positive impact on employment, the study observed neutral to slightly negative effects on wage growth in occupations more exposed to AI. This finding suggests that while AI may not be replacing jobs, it could be influencing the dynamics of wage growth.

The Broader Context

Contrasting Previous Technology Waves

The ECB’s findings present a different picture compared to previous technology waves, such as computerization, which led to a decrease in medium-skilled employment and resulted in job market polarization.

Future Implications

The study cautions that AI’s full impact on employment and wages is still unfolding. As AI technologies continue to develop and find new applications, their influence on the job market and wage structures will become more apparent.

American Workers’ Perspectives

Concerns and Optimism

A survey by Spokeo in the U.S. reflects a mixed sentiment among American workers. While there is concern about AI’s potential to take over jobs, there’s also optimism about AI reducing workplace stress and potentially shortening the workweek.

Training and Adaptation

A significant majority of U.S. workers believe in the importance of training for AI tools like ChatGPT, indicating a readiness to adapt to the evolving workplace dynamics shaped by AI.


The ECB’s study offers a nuanced view of AI’s impact on the job market. While AI is currently seen as a job creator, its subtle influence on wage growth and the potential long-term effects remain areas of keen interest and ongoing study. As AI continues to advance, understanding and adapting to its implications will be crucial for workers, employers, and policymakers alike.

Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne is the CEO and Founder of Livy.AI

Read more

More News