Employees in the technology-sector are worried that automation implemented during the pandemic will replace their jobs.

Around 67 percent of workers at U.S. technology companies are concerned about losing their jobs to automated technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. In other sectors, 44 percent of workers are concerned about their jobs.

The pandemic also has 70 percent of workers in the tech-sector concerned about their jobs regardless of automation. Only 57 percent of workers in other sectors share the same fear. In April, a survey of 1,000 full-time and part-time workers across sectors was conducted to find these results. 223 of the respondents were employed in the technology sector. Trends in the tech industry typically make their way everywhere else in time, so these worries may be justified.

“Workers in the tech industry are closer to the technology and thus have a unique understanding, more so than other industries, of technology and its capabilities,” said KPMG tech-industry practice leader Tim Zanni. In April, 112,000 jobs in the technology sector were eliminated, erasing all the new jobs created over the past year, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by IT trade group CompTIA.

The technology sector employs about 4 percent of the total US workforce. Artificial intelligence is key to these new automation processes. Jobs in that field are expected to increase 16 percent this year. The demand for AI is increasing as businesses search for more efficient and effective processes. 40 percent of global businesses have already turned to automation amid the pandemic.

During the Great Recession, automation contributed to the slow bounce back of employment, according to a report by tech-industry research from Forrester Research Inc. “We believe that hyper automation is where the market is headed,” said Daniel Dines, chief executive of robotic process automation maker UiPath Inc. He believes that automation will eliminate basic jobs such as managing emails, allowing employees to be more productive.

Once the pandemic subsides and things are back to normal, workers might be in for a surprise once they return to the office.

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Economics, Finance and Investing