How 5G Will Affect American Jobs: Predictions and Implications

Russell Kidson
Mar 4, 2023

How 5G Will Affect American Jobs: Predictions and Implications

Apple recently announced their latest iPhone models in mid-October, which are the first smartphones designed to operate on 5G networks. This new advancement in cellular connectivity holds great potential, promising to provide fast internet access to anyone, anywhere, without the need for Wi-Fi.

The impact of 5G technology is vast and far-reaching. According to Will Knight of MIT Technology Review, 5G is expected to significantly impact industries such as manufacturing, robotics, and self-driving cars.

In exploring the potential implications of 5G on the future of work, various reports from think tanks and insights from industry experts suggest that it could lead to job growth and better employment opportunities.

How 5G Will Affect American Jobs: Predictions and Implications

An introduction to 5G

In essence, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks that promises to provide internet access at speeds comparable to Wi-Fi. This revolutionary technology enables ubiquitous communication through a suite of enabling technologies. Cellular service providers have been upgrading their infrastructure since 2019, including antennas, cell towers, and frequency ranges, to expand and enhance their networks. Current 5G offerings are about 20% faster than 4G LTE connection speeds and offer significantly lower latency.

Given that a significant portion of rural Americans do not have access to the internet, and only 65% of Americans' home internet is fast enough for video conferencing, the widespread adoption of 5G represents a significant change in connectivity for most people in the US.

However, it is important to keep in mind that some journalists caution people to temper their expectations about the capabilities of 5G. Brian X. Chen, for instance, warns that despite the hype around 5G, its current technical limitations mean that most Americans will not experience blazing-fast speeds anytime soon.

Predictions and Implications of 5G on the Future of American Labor

What does 5G mean for work?

The Progressive Policy Institute has recently published a report outlining their forecasts for how 5G technology will affect labor in the United States over the next 15 years. PPI predicts that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will be moving towards nationwide 5G networks by the end of 2020. They suggest that the current trend towards remote work has further underscored the need for expanded internet access, including the implementation of 5G technology.

Increased availability of jobs

According to CNBC, 5G technology is seen as a catalyst for the next industrial revolution, while Bloomberg's Nico Grant suggests that it will significantly advance the Internet of Things (IoT). One of the most immediate impacts of 5G will be the proliferation of smart factories, which are expected to be more automated and efficient. At present, factory machines rely on slow, low-bandwidth, and high-latency disparate networks to transmit and receive data. 5G is expected to replace these outdated technologies, making it more cost-effective to purchase and install robots. 

This shift towards automation is likely to result in smarter factories with more streamlined processes. For instance, Ericsson's new factory in Lewisville, Texas, has already been transformed by 5G technology. Augmented reality is used by remote support personnel to assist on-site workers, while automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and drones are guided around the facility by remote pilots. While many fear that automation will lead to job losses and reduced salaries, the relationship between automation and employment is not always straightforward. Although automation may replace some jobs, it also creates new ones.

According to PPI, the technological advancements enabled by 5G are expected to lead to a net gain in employment rather than a loss. They predict that, 15 years after the introduction of 5G in 2019, 5G and related technologies will have created 4.6 million more jobs than the economy would have generated otherwise. As evidence, PPI points out that companies had already created 106,000 jobs as of April/May 2020 while building out 5G. PPI also predicts that 5G will significantly boost employment in various sectors, including agriculture, construction, utilities, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, educational services, healthcare and social assistance, and government.

However, it's worth noting that while increasing automation is expected to have a positive effect on overall job growth, it may also exacerbate existing disparities between high-growth urban areas and struggling rural areas, as well as between high-wage workers and others, according to McKinsey.

Higher-paying work

In addition to predicting a net gain in employment, PPI also expects the jobs created by 5G to be higher-paying than the ones that will be lost to automation. According to the authors, '5G job creation is a countervailing force to job destruction from automation and globalization, and critically important in the post-COVID world.'

Colleen Berube, Chief Information Officer at Zendesk, noted that her company is actively pursuing automation in all aspects of their operations. She expects that automating repetitive tasks will free up more time for employees to focus on higher-level work such as analysis, strategic thinking, and creativity.

As 5G becomes more widely adopted, engineers and software developers are expected to be in high demand to drive its implementation. Job postings across the country in late April showed that around 0.6% included the term '5G.' Job titles in these postings included 'Engineer, Principal 5G Systems,' 'Wireless Core Engineer,' and '5G Wireless SME/Senior Systems Engineer Level 6.'

Predictions and Implications of 5G on the Future of American Labor

Prepare for 5G

Although 5G technology is expected to create higher-quality jobs for workers of all skill levels, it is still important to keep one's technical skills up to date. When asked about the impact of 5G and automation on hiring decisions, Colleen Berube of Zendesk stated that her company looks for candidates with both domain expertise and technical proficiency. 

Similarly, Charles Southwick of Pure Storage emphasized the importance of hard skills as well as 'hybrid capabilities,' such as a hardware engineer who can also write software. It is also essential to remain cognitively flexible and stay up to date on new technologies. 'We've enhanced how we think about hiring to also include soft skills,' Berube said. Zendesk is looking for workers who are comfortable with change and are resourceful problem-solvers.


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  1. Seeprime said on September 8, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Missing from the “story”: Ukraine’s agreement to never use Starlink for military purposes. This is why.

    Ghacks quality is AI driven and very poor these days since AI is really artificial stupidity.

    1. Karl said on September 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm

      “Elon Musk biographer Walter Isaacson forced to ‘clarify’ book’s account of Starlink incident in Ukraine War

      “To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not. They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war.”

      1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:58 pm

        I posted above comment to:

        Not to the following article about Geforce where I currently also can see it published:

  2. Anonymous said on September 11, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    Well, using Brave, I can see Llama 2 being decent, but it is still not great?
    All these AI stuff seems more like a ‘toy’ than anything special, I mean, it is good for some stuff like translations or asking quick questions but not for asking anything important.

    The problem is Brave made it mostly for summarizing websites and all that, but all these Big tech controlled stuff, won’t summarize articles it doesn’t agree with, so it is also useless in many situations where you just want it to give you a quick summarization, and then it starts throwing you little ‘speeches’ about how it doesn’t agree with it and then it never summarizes anything, but give you all the 30 paragraphs reasons why the article is wrong, like if I am asking it what it thinks.

    SO all this AI is mostly a toy, but Facebook with all the power they have will be able to get so much data from people, it can ‘train’ or better say, write algorithms that will get better with time.

    But It is not intelligence, it is really not intelligence all these AI technology.

  3. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
    Article URL: []

    The eternal problematic of regulating, here applied to AI. Should regulations (interventionism) have interfered in the course of mankind ever since Adam and Eve where would we be now? Should spirituality, morality, ethics never have interfered where would we be now? I truly have always believed that the only possible consensus between ethics and freedom is that of individuals’ own consciousness.

    Off-topic : Musk’s beard looks like a wound, AI-Human hand-shake is a quite nice pic :)

    1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Haha, oh dear, Tom.
      I thought that the comments system issue where comments shows up under a totally different article was fixed. But seeing your comment here, the “error” is clearly still active. Hopefully it is sorted as soon as possible.

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 6:40 pm

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: []

        Hi Karl :) Well, let’s remain positive and see the good sides : one’s comment appearing within different articles (the one it was written form and for, another unrelated one) brings ubiquity to that comment : say it once and it’s published twice, double your pleasure and double your fun (“with double-mint, double-mint gum” and old ad!). Let’s forget the complications and inherited misunderstandings it leads to. Not sure the fun is worth the complications though. Which is why, with a few others here, I include Article Title & URL with comment, to ease a bit the pain.

        This said, I’m trying to find a logic key which would explain the mic-mac. One thing is sure : comments appearing twice keep the same comment number.

        For instance my comment to which you replied just above is originally :


        It then got duplicated to :


        Same comment number, which let’s me imagine comments are defined by their number as before but now dissociated in a way from their full path : that’s where something is broken, as i see it.

        First amused me, then bothered, annoyed (I took some holidays to lower the pressure), then triggered curiosity.
        I’m putting our best detectives on the affair, stay tuned.

      2. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 8:58 am

        Hehe, yes indeed, staying positive is what we should do. Good comes for those who wait, as the old saying goes. Hopefully true for this as well.

        Interesting that the comments number stays the same, I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.

        Not useful for us, but hopefully for the developers (if there are any?), that perhaps will be able to sort this comments error out. Or our detectives, I hope they work hard on this as we speak ;).

        Cheers and have a great weekend!

      3. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 9:18 am

        Whoops, my bad. I just now realized that the error I saw in your example URL (error-code-0x0003) was part of the linked article title and generated by Geforce! Oh dear! Why did I try to make it more confusing than it already is lol!

        Original comment:


      4. Tom Hawack said on September 16, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: []

        @Karl, you write,

        “I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.”

        I haven’t noticed that up to now but indeed brings an element to those who are actually trying to resolve the issue.
        I do hope that Softonic engineers are working on fixing this issue, which may be more complicated than we can imagine. Anything to do with databases can become a nightmare, especially when the database remains accessed while being repaired, so to say.

        P.S. My comment about remaining positive was, in this context, sarcastic. Your literal interpretation could mean you are, factually, more inclined to positiveness than I am myself : maybe a lesson of life for me :)

        Have a nice, happy, sunny weekend as well :)

      5. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 12:35 pm

        Correct: AI is certainly overhyped, it’s also advertised by some shady individuals. It’s can also be misused to write poor quality articles or fake your homework.

        16 September 2023, this website is still experiencing issues with posts erroneously appearing in the wrong threads. There are even duplicates of the exact same post ID within the same page in some places.

      6. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 8:41 pm

        Clerical error “[It] can also be misused …” you just can’t get the staff nowadays.

        Obviously [#comment-4573795] was originally posted within [/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]. However, it has appeared misplaced within several threads.

        Including the following:

  4. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    “How much radiation is dangerous?
    Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, is more energetic and potentially harmful. Exposure to doses greater than 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) in a short period can increase the risk of immediate health effects.
    Above about 100 mSv, the risk of long-term health effects, such as cancer, increases with the dose.”

    This ban is about NON-ionizing radiation limits, because there is too much radio wave power from the iphone. This has nothing to do with the much more dangerous ionizing radiations like X-rays, that are obviously not emitted at all by mobile phones. I invite you to correct your article.

  5. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    “ makes history as the first official UFO website”

    I wonder if it’s just smelly crowdsourcing for the spotting of chinese balloons or whatever paranoia they’re trying to instigate, or if they are also intentionally trying to look stupid enough to look for alien spaceships, for whatever reason. Maybe trying to look cute, instead of among the worst butchers of history ?

  6. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    “The tech titan’s defense”
    “Whether he provides a clear explanation or justifies his actions”
    “the moral compass”

    You take it for granted that this company should agree being a military communications provider on a war zone, and so directly so that his network would be used to control armed drones charged with explosives rushing to their targets.

    You don’t need to repeat here everything you read in the mainstream press without thinking twice about it. You’re not just pointing interestingly that his company is more involved in the war that one may think at first and that this power is worrying, you’re also declaring your own support for a side in an imperialist killfest, blaming him for not participating enough in the bloodshed.

    Now your article is unclear on how this company could be aware that its network is used for such military actions at a given time, which has implications of its own.

    Reading other sources on that quickly, it seems that the company was: explicitly asked ; to extend its network geographically ; for a military attack ; at a time when there was no war but with the purpose of triggering it, if I understood well. You have to be joking if you’re crying about that not happening at that time. But today you have your war, be happy.

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