Universal Basic Income Favored in Canada, U.K. but Not in U.S.

Gallup News

A recent survey by Gallup and Northeastern University finds a slight majority of Americans opposed to a universal basic income (UBI) program as a way to support workers displaced by AI adoption. Conversely, about three-fourths of residents in the U.K. and Canada favor the idea.

These findings come from a Gallup/Northeastern survey of over 10,000 adults in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. conducted from April to June 2019. By some estimates, up to 50% of jobs are expected to be automated within the next decade. An OECD study across 21 countries suggests that while only 9% of jobs are currently at high risk of automation, low-skilled workers are most vulnerable to job displacement.

The way that colleges, universities, governments and businesses can respond to this disruption is the topic of a recent report by Gallup and Northeastern University detailing the results of the three-country survey. The probability-based survey was conducted online with 4,394 Americans, 3,049 Canadians and 3,208 U.K. adults.

In the survey, UBI was defined for respondents as a government-instituted program that would provide every adult with a specific amount of money each year. These funds would serve as income support for people who lose their jobs or occupations because of advances in artificial intelligence. UBI programs have been endorsed by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, as well as high-profile business leaders such as Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg.

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