The impact of artificial intelligence on the federal workforce

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Jeffrey Neal, senior vice president of ICF, discusses how widespread AI adoption would affect federal jobs, and what the future may look like.


Because the President’s Management Agenda prioritizes moving employees from low to high value work, agencies are looking to offload the more low-level tasks to artificial intelligence. While some in the federal workforce fear that the adoption of AI will lead to a reduction in jobs, Jeffrey Neal, senior vice president of ICF says that they have little to worry about.

 

“If you look 50‑60 years ago at the federal workforce, we had over a million clerks in the workforce and now we have 100 thousand. In 50 years, 1 million jobs went away. You think if 1 million jobs went away, the workforce has shrunk by a million people. Nope, it’s about where it was 50 years ago,” said Neal. “It has hovered around 2 million for half a century, and I think it’s going to continue to do that. People talk about getting rid of federal jobs, but members of Congress want to get rid of federal jobs in someone else’s district, not theirs. Jobs will be replaced by AI, and then other jobs will appear.”