ZipRecruiter’s 2020 Future of Work Report reveals winning states in the AI jobs gold rush
ZipRecruiter, the Santa Monica based employment marketplace named One of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2019 by Fast Company just released their much-anticipated Future of Work Report 2020. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) jobs gold rush is spreading to more states. This is good news for the future of work. Jobs that require AI, machine learning, robotics, and engineering skills will continue to dominate as AI-enabled systems replace manual labor.
In this article, I will walk you through some of the highlights.
Companies want skills that are more specific than robotics or machine learning. The number of jobs that require AI or machine learning skills on ZipRecruiter grew by 44% in the last year. At the same time, the number of jobs that require deep learning skills and robotic design skills grew by 151% and 176% respectively.
Pioneer states such as California, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts are still capitals of innovation. The number of AI-related jobs grew by 35% in these states. California, Massachusetts and New York lost residents while Washington is still gaining residents. Nevertheless, these states still dominate with 60% of all AI job listings in the ZipRecruiter marketplace.
The AI jobs gold rush is moving and spreading to innovations around the country. Other states such as Colorado, Utah, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho are gaining AI-related jobs. From 2017 to 2019, these states experienced an average growth of 93% in AI-related jobs. Innovation centers established in these states such as Silicon Mountain in Colorado, Research Triangle in North Carolina are poised to be tomorrow’s winners.
“There’s definitely stratification here. Four states have the majority and overwhelmingly have the benefits so far. There’s 10 up and coming states. There’s a bunch of middlings. There’s 10 real losers right now. I’m worried that the stratification will get really bad in this country. There will be two narratives here in this country. One narrative is AI is great for the job market. The other one is AI is job-armageddon. They are both going to be right.”
Here’s a deeper dive into why today’s winners are losing steam, tomorrow’s winners are fast catching up, and what other states/individuals can do to catch this wave.
Today’s Winners Are Losing Steam
Housing is the biggest challenge cited by both Californians and New Yorkers as the reason they want to move out of these states. According to Zillow, the average rent is $2900 in NYC and average rent is $3800 in San Francisco. These are just rents. Buying is often out of question for new tech arrivals. In 2018, 691K people moved out of California and 458K people moved out of New York. Californians and New Yorkers responded to 1.8 million out of state jobs and 1.6 million out of state jobs respectively.
Along with housing prices, failing infrastructure in New York and unfriendly business policies in both New York and California are also contributing factors to why businesses are moving out of these states.
“Right now, the big winners are the winners who are building the foundational technology. But, without a doubt, it’s the service providers who will benefit from this technology in the long term. We are in the first inning of this.”
Tomorrow’s Winners Are No Accident
Policymakers are the main drivers of innovation. The winning states have characteristics that enable them to succeed such as access to talent, pro-business policies, relatively low housing costs, short commutes, vibrant downtown areas, high birth rates and sunny weather. Policymakers in these cities and states partnered to introduce policies as early as 2014 to improve the vibrancy of the business centers. Boise, Idaho and Denver, Colorado are cities that have gone through transformations to turn themselves into the next Austin, Seattle or Portland. These cities are poised to be the winners.
The reasons that enabled today’s winner’s to succeed such as having leading universities, leading hospitals, history of international migration and highly developed financial sector are not requirements for tomorrow’s winners to succeed.
Any state in the U.S. can improve its education system, business policies and revitalize its business centers to attract AI jobs.
“One of the cities we focused on in the report was Austin, Texas. That’s what made Texas one of the up and coming winners. Austin has been in a very calculated way of making themselves not only more business-friendly but also more family and lifestyle friendly. They did it by revitalizing their downtown. The other thing that they did and it’s often overlooked is that they changed the zoning laws so that they got rid of single-family housing. They allowed larger and taller buildings to be built. They eliminated the parking requirements. This maximized living space for more people inside the city. You also make it easier for businesses to operate in the area.”
States That Are Losing Out
Our future of work depends on stable economies in every state and city in America. The AI jobs gold rush is different from the California gold rush of the late 1800s. These jobs can be spread out evenly. States that are on the cusp of taking advantage of more AI jobs have to step up.
States such as Louisiana, Kansas, Alaska, Mississippi, West Virginia, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Indiana only saw a 21% increase in AI-related jobs between 2017 and 2019.
Some of these states have cold winters. But, with remote working possibilities, weather challenges do not have to be an insurmountable barrier to attracting businesses.
These states can improve their education outcomes, provide more friendly business environments and implement policies to diversify their economies.
Stepping up is not an option for some of these states. It is a necessity.
In our future of work, 150 million Americans could find themselves left behind if they don’t move to innovative AI-driven jobs and industries. Once graduates in these states can not find work within the states, they will move to other states. The residents left behind are the ones that find themselves out of a job and unable to move.
“The 10 states that are losing currently have the ability to change their destiny right now. We are almost raising the warning flag. It’s not too late. It only took about five years for Austin, Texas to become Austin today. That is so fast. The same formula that is used over and over again. Boise, Idaho, for example, studied Austin, Texas and implemented the same plans. Now, they are on the list of Tomorrow’s winners.”
The good news is that there’s still time to catch up.
Creative thinking on the part of states and cities will become ever more critical.
“One interesting and important fact that came out of the study is that: the states that are emerging as Tomorrow’s winners tend to be purple states. It suggests how you attract a migrating population to your state is to be a place that welcomes everybody.”
The Hot AI Jobs In Our Future of Work
No matter what state you are in, the ZipRecruiter report revealed that drones related jobs are increasing rapidly. Commercial sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas, construction, insurance, real estate, and photography hiring for drone teams at Amazon, Google, Uber, and UPS suggest drone delivery will soon be a major industry.
Drone pilot jobs average annual pay of $56K on Ziprecruiter. But, many pilots earn 6 figures. This is with a minimum of only 20 hours of training and a $150 license fee. It often takes 4000 hours to become a carpenter in most states. The barrier entry to being a drone pilot is a lot lower.
“When you look at technology and how they are being applied such as drones, they are being used in a multitude of cities already. You think of drones as a toy or a delivery tool. In fact, that’s not the principal use case. The majority of the drone work being done is for surveying and videoing large geographic areas. The places that they are predominantly being used are in agriculture, real estate, and security.”
The number of active certified drone pilots is growing rapidly. Currently, we have ½ million FAA-Certified Pilots in the U.S. FAA-certified drone pilots are increasing rapidly. Mountain states that are playing catch up to compete for AI jobs have the most FAA-certified drone pilots in the nation.
This is good news for any talent across any state to compete for AI jobs.
City vs. Suburb and Rural
Even though most of the survey evaluates job listing across states, cities in particular states often drive the result for the state. This was seen in today’s winners as well as in tomorrow’s winners.
“When we looked at the pioneer states, it really was five cities that have 60% of the AI job listings. When we look at tomorrow’s winners, there are definitely cities that are driving the result for that state.”
However, suburban and rural America is not left out of the AI jobs gold rush. On the contrary, they might benefit sooner than some cities.
“You think of drones as a toy or a delivery tool. In fact, that’s not the principal use case. The majority of the drone work being done is for surveying and videoing large geographic areas. The places that they are predominantly being used are in agriculture, real estate, security. The suburban areas are going to benefit from the AI tech jobs sooner rather than later. They are the ones who will need AI tech more. If you are Amazon, you need to deliver a package to suburban and rural America, it’s better to do it with a drone than to send a truck out there.”
The future of work just became a little clearer with the ZipRecruiter 2020 Future of Work report. Business owners, policymakers and job seekers can benefit from carefully reviewing this report to see how they can position themselves in the age of innovation. The goal for all of us is to build an economy of shared wealth. So far, the movement of AI jobs gold rush is a good indication that we are moving in the right direction.