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AI Is Impacting Jobs. Here Are the Gigs Affected the Most, According to an Analysis of 5 Million Upwork Postings The researcher said in the report that freelance jobs were analyzed first because that market will likely see AI's immediate impact.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Labor market trend website Bloomberry looked at more than five million freelancing jobs listed on Upwork, a freelancing website.
  • The report found that the number of writing, translation, and customer service freelance jobs have declined the most since ChatGPT became mainstream.
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AI replacing jobs isn't a theoretical idea, new research suggests, but something that is happening — right now.

Henley Wing Chiu, a Queens, New York-based researcher at labor and hiring trend website Bloomberry, looked at five million data points to see which jobs AI is most likely to replace, and which jobs are already being replaced.

Chiu, who is also co-founder of content marketing platform BuzzSumo, took the 12 most popular freelancing job categories on Upwork, a freelancing hub, and tracked how postings changed from 30 days before ChatGPT's public debut to February 2024.

He found that most job categories showed an increase in the number of postings, with three notable exceptions: writing, translation, and customer service.

Related: JPMorgan Says Its AI Cash Flow Software Cut Human Work By Almost 90%

Writing jobs declined by 33%, translation jobs declined by 19%, and customer service jobs declined by 16%, all from November 1, 2022, to February 14, 2024.

"I definitely expected writing jobs to decrease, as this is perhaps the most popular use case of ChatGPT, and that was reflected in the -33% decrease in writing jobs," Chiu wrote.

He elaborated that the decline in customer service jobs wasn't surprising either because of the rise of AI customer service chatbots.

Related: Klarna Says Its AI Assistant Does the Work of 700 People. The Company Laid Off the Same Number of Employees 2 Years Ago.

Almost all other categories had job postings increase, with video editing/production jobs up the most by 39%. Graphic design, web design, accounting, sales, and web development freelance gig postings also increased.

Chiu stated in the report that he decided to analyze freelance jobs instead of full-time or part-time jobs because the freelance market was the most likely to see AI impact first.

He gave a few explanations of the data: Generative AI tools could be good enough now to replace writing tasks, but not yet up to par for quality results in tasks like generating images or videos. However, that could change as OpenAI recently announced its Sora text-to-video AI generator.

Another explanation could be that users do not yet understand how to fully use AI tools.

Related: You Can Fear It and Still Use It — Why Are So Many American Workers Shy About AI?

A 2023 Upwork survey showed that freelancers make up 38% of the U.S. workforce and that they are 2.2 times more likely to regularly use generative AI than other professionals for tasks like research, brainstorming, and coding.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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