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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new survey of American workers finds signs of hope for the immediate future, but longer-term worries about career advancement.

The big picture: With the pandemic loosening, hiring is expected to pick up dramatically, but the specter of automation and obstacles to reskilling dims the picture for the future.

By the numbers: In a new survey of over 5,000 American adults conducted by the University of Phoenix Career Institute that comes after a wretched year for employment, 78% of respondents say they feel hopeful about the future of their careers, and nearly 80% report they feel highly employable.

  • 7 in 10 say they feel prepared to search for a new job now if they needed or desired.

Yes, but: The survey also found that the economic trauma of COVID-19 has taken its toll on American workers.

  • One in three respondents said the pandemic had taken their career of course — considerably more than the number of Americans who lost their job over the past year.
  • The optimism survey respondents reported feeling now wanes over the longer-term, with one in five saying their job had become automated during the pandemic, and nearly half worrying that their job skills will eventually become outdated because of technology.

Of note: Nearly half of respondents are actively worried about losing their job because of the economy, with higher levels of concern among women, people of color and Generation Z.

What they're saying: "Americans come through in the survey as being really resilient and gritty, but we identify some of the help they'll need to remain that way," says John Woods, chief academic officer at the University of Phoenix.

  • "That could be help with networking, upskilling, or mental health support."

The bottom line: Automation isn't yet the full job destroyer that many Americans fear it will be, but workers will need reskilling help to be in a better position for the future.

Go deeper

29 seconds ago - World

U.S. drone strike victims' families in Afghanistan seek compensation

A relative of Ezmarai Ahmadi, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike, looks at the wreckage of a vehicle that was damaged in the strike in the Kwaja Burga neighbourhood of Kabul on Saturday. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi AFP via Getty Images

Relatives of 10 Afghans killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month said Saturday they want to see punishment and compensation over the deaths.

Driving the news: The relatives said it's "good news" that the U.S. had "officially admitted" that "they had attacked innocents" in the Aug. 29 strike that killed Zamarai Ahmadi, an aid worker with a U.S.-based group, and nine family members, but they still need "justice," per AFP.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
4 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.