Despite fears and projections that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will lead to massive layoffs, the future is not quite so dire, according to ZipRecruiter’s The Future of Work Report, released Thursday.

In 2018, AI created about three times as many jobs as it destroyed, the report found, in a variety of industries beyond the tech sector.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: A business leader’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

In manufacturing, some have projected that robots will steal up to 20 million jobs worldwide by 2030—however, jobs in this sector posted to the ZipRecruiter marketplace grew 84% in 2018, outpacing growth of those in finance, insurance, and business and professional services. Increasing demand for American-made products and a widening skills gap in the industry may actually lead to a manufacturing labor shortage in the near term, another Deloitte report found.

Demand for workers with AI skills is also rapidly increasing, jumping 379% from 2016 to 2018, the report found. This demand is driven by businesses seeking employees who can work with new, AI-driven tools.

Nearly half of businesses (44%) and employees (47%) already use some form of AI, according to the report.

The most successful applications of AI have been when the technology is used in partnership with human employees, rather than as a replacement for them, the report noted. While half of employees reported being afraid that AI will eliminate jobs, 81% of employers said they would prefer to hire a human over implementing a fully autonomous system, and that they believed AI could replace only 15% of the work human employees perform, according to a previous ZipRecruiter survey cited in the report.

“AI has already begun to create new career opportunities that will be safer and more enjoyable than the jobs it destroys and where technology and humans will work together,” the report stated. “But all stakeholders must take collective action to ensure the best possible out- comes for job seekers and employers alike.”

For more, check out The 10 most in-demand AI jobs in the world on TechRepublic.

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Image: iStockphoto/Chiradech