World Economic Forum Report Predicts Major Shifts in Employment Landscape

According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2023, approximately 25% of jobs are expected to be transformed in the next five years.

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According to a report from the World Economic Forum, approximately 69 million new jobs will be created and 83 million eliminated by 2027. The fastest-growing occupations include AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Sustainability Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts, and Information Security Specialists, Business Today reported.

WEF Report Forecast Big Changes in Labor Market
Workers during a shift at a textile company in the northern province of Hung Yen. Photo: VNS

The Future of Jobs Report 2023, which was released on Monday, indicated that almost a quarter (23%) of jobs are predicted to undergo changes within the next five years. This includes a growth of 10.2% and a decline of 12.3%.

This fourth edition of the report, initially released in 2016, seeks to analyze the potential implications of macrotrends and technology adoption on the labor market, and how they will influence job and skill requirements between 2023 and 2027.

The Future of Jobs Survey brings together the perspective of 803 companies – collectively employing more than 11.3 million workers – in 27 industry clusters and 45 economies from all world regions.

According to the estimates of the 803 companies surveyed for the report, employers anticipate the creation of 69 million new jobs and the elimination of 83 million jobs among the 673 million jobs corresponding to the dataset – a net decrease of 14 million jobs, or 2% of current employment.

Macrotrends, such as the green transition, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, and the localization of supply chains, are the leading drivers of job growth. Despite this, economic challenges like high inflation, slower economic growth, and supply shortages still pose the greatest threat. Yet, the advancement of technology adoption and increasing digitization is likely to cause significant labour market churn, ultimately leading to a net positive in job creation, according to the report.

“For individuals across the planet, the past three years have been full of disruption and insecurity for their lives and livelihoods. Covid-19, geopolitical and economic changes, and the rapid development of AI and other technologies now pose an additional risk of adding to the uncertainty,” stated Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.

The beneficial news is that there is an obvious path ahead to ensure endurance. Governments and companies need to invest in helping the move to the occupations of what’s to come through the instruction, reskilling, and social help structures that can guarantee people are at the core of the future of work.

While technology continues to present both obstacles and potentials to labour markets, employers are hopeful that most technologies will have a positive effect on job creation.

The increasing use of technology and digitalization has led to a surge in the number of roles available. Big data is one of the most in-demand technologies when it comes to job creation, with 65% of survey respondents predicting that it will lead to an increase in related job roles. According to research, the employment of data analysts and scientists, big data specialists, artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning experts, and cybersecurity professionals is predicted to grow by an average of 30% by 2027.

WEF Report Forecast Big Changes in Labor Market
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Training workers to leverage AI and big data will be prioritised by 42% of surveyed companies over the next five years, coming in just behind analytical thinking (48%) and creative thinking (43%) in terms of importance. Digital commerce will be responsible for the largest increase in job opportunities, resulting in around 2 million new digitally enabled roles, such as e-commerce specialists, digital transformation specialists, and digital marketing and strategy specialists.

At the same time, the speediest diminishing jobs are additionally being driven by innovation and digitalisation, with clerical or secretarial jobs, including bank tellers, cashiers, and data entry clerks, anticipated to decrease the quickest.

The Future of Jobs Report 2023 has revealed that automation of tasks has seen little change in the past three years. Currently, only 34% of tasks are automated, a mere 1% increase since 2020. Even more surprisingly, businesses have also revised down their expectations for further automation by 2027, to 42%, from an estimate of 47% by 2025.

While expectations of the displacement of physical and manual labor by machines have decreased, it is anticipated that reasoning, communicating, and coordinating – all traits that humans possess a comparative advantage in – will become increasingly automatable in the future.

The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to be widespread, with nearly 75% of surveyed companies planning to implement it. This is likely to lead to high churn in the labor market, with 50% of organizations expecting job creation and 25% expecting job losses as a result.

Investment in the green transition and climate-change mitigation, as well as heightened consumer awareness of sustainability issues, are propelling industry transformation and creating new job opportunities. Investment in the green transition and climate-change mitigation, as well as increasing consumer awareness of sustainability issues are driving industry transformation and opening new opportunities in the labour market.

The most powerful job-creation effects are predicted to be driven by investments that help to green the operations of businesses, with the majority of respondents expecting this. As nations strive for more sustainable energy sources, roles such as renewable energy engineers, and solar energy installation and systems engineers will be highly sought after.

Investment is set to spur growth in more generalist sustainability roles, such as sustainability specialists and environmental protection professionals, with an expected 33% and 34% growth rate, respectively. This translates to an estimated increase of 1 million jobs.

According to the report, the number of jobs in the education industry is expected to increase by approximately 10%, resulting in the creation of an additional 3 million positions, mainly for vocational education teachers, as well as university and higher education teachers.

Jobs for agricultural professionals, especially agricultural equipment operators, graders, and sorters, are projected to experience a 15-30% rise, resulting in an extra 4 million job openings, according to a report. This surge in employment opportunities will provide those in the ag industry with more chances to advance in their field.

Hannah Nguyen