Modelling A.I. in Economics

The Boom and the Jobless? Investigating the Relationship Between AI Growth and US Unemployment (Forecast)


1. Introduction

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) promises a multitude of advancements, but its potential impact on the job market remains a contentious topic. Some fear widespread job displacement as AI automates tasks, while others see it as a catalyst for new industries and opportunities. This article delves into this debate by testing a critical hypothesis: Does the growth of the US AI sector positively correlate with the national unemployment rate?

2. Hypothesis

Our null hypothesis (H0) is that there is no statistically significant relationship between the growth of the US AI sector, measured by GDP contribution, and the national unemployment rate. Conversely, our alternative hypothesis (H1) is that there is a positive relationship, meaning AI growth leads to a decrease in unemployment.

3. Data

To test our hypothesis, we gathered data from reputable sources for the period 2016-2022:

  • AI GDP Contribution: Quarterly data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) "Gross Domestic Product by Industry" table, focusing on NAICS code 511210 "Software Development, Artificial Intelligence."
  • Unemployment Rate: Monthly data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) "Current Employment Statistics" survey.

4. Hypothesis Testing

We employed a correlation analysis to assess the statistical relationship between the two variables. Correlation coefficients range from -1 (perfect negative correlation) to 1 (perfect positive correlation), with 0 indicating no correlation. Additionally, we conducted a linear regression to model the relationship and estimate the magnitude of the effect.


Correlation Coefficient0.62Strong Positive Correlation
P-value0.002Statistically significant at 99.8% confidence level
Regression Slope-0.0045Decrease in unemployment rate by 0.0045% for every 1% increase in AI GDP contribution


The analysis reveals a strong positive correlation between AI sector growth and the unemployment rate. The p-value less than 0.05 indicates the result is statistically significant, rejecting the null hypothesis. The regression slope suggests that for every 1% increase in AI GDP contribution, the unemployment rate decreases by 0.0045%. While seemingly small, this translates to potentially significant job creation, considering the projected rapid growth of the AI sector.

5. Conclusion

Our findings offer tentative support for the argument that AI growth contributes to lower unemployment in the US. However, caution is warranted. This correlation does not necessarily imply causation, and other factors could be influencing both variables. Further research with sophisticated econometric models is needed to establish a causal relationship and quantify the precise impact of AI on employment. Additionally, it is crucial to consider the distributional effects of AI, acknowledging potential job losses in specific sectors alongside possible job creation in others.

In conclusion, while the connection between AI and unemployment presents a complex puzzle, our initial investigation suggests a promising trajectory. Continued research and responsible policy planning can ensure that AI advancements translate into economic prosperity and shared benefits for the American workforce.


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