The 2023 Future of Jobs Report investigates the anticipated evolution of jobs and skills over the next five years.
The report seen by Nairametrics, is in on fourth edition and it builds upon previous analyses of employer expectations, offering fresh insights into the ways socio-economic and technological trends will influence the future workplace.
This edition has extensive coverage by exploring macro trends, technology trends, and workforce transformation strategies.
It gathered insights from 803 companies, employing over 11.3 million workers across 27 industry clusters and 45 economies, the Future of Jobs Survey spans topics, geographies, and sectors.
It delves into the impact of trends on jobs, skills, and workforce strategies, projecting developments from 2023 to 2027.
Here are some of the factors that will shape outcomes in the labour market:
Economic, health, and geopolitical shifts in 2023 yield varied global labour market outcomes.
High-income nations witness tight labour markets, contrasting with elevated unemployment in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
At an individual level, workers with basic education and women will grapple with reduced employment opportunities.
Simultaneously, real wages decline due to a persistent cost-of-living crisis, amplifying global concerns about work quality and changing worker expectations.
Over the next five years, technology adoption will emerge as a pivotal driver of business transformation. Over 85% of surveyed organizations cite increased adoption of new technologies and expanded digital access as transformative trends. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards also exert substantial influence.
Despite ranking sixth, investments driving the green transition, supply shortages, and consumer expectations impact almost half of companies, overshadowing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical divisions, and demographic shifts.
Environmental, technology and economic trends shape significant job creation and destruction effects
Investments facilitating the green transition, broader ESG standards application, and localized supply chains will drive net job creation.
Predicted job creators also include climate change adaptation. However, technological advancements, especially new technologies and digital access, result in job displacement for one-fifth of companies.
Expected net job destruction stems from slower economic growth, supply shortages, and rising costs for consumers.
Technology adoption, big data, cloud computing, and AI are highly likely to be adopted by over 75% of companies in the next five years
However, Digital platforms and apps top the adoption list at 86%, with e-commerce and digital trade following at 75%.
Education and workforce technologies, along with the adoption of robots, power storage, and distributed ledger technologies, rank lower on the adoption spectrum.
Most technologies are anticipated to have a net positive impact on jobs over the next five years. Big data analytics, climate change technologies, and encryption and cybersecurity are foreseen as major job growth drivers.
Conversely, agriculture technologies, digital platforms, e-commerce, and AI will contribute to labour-market disruption, balancing job displacement with growth elsewhere.
Employers foresee a structural labour market churn of 23% in the next five years, indicating a mix of emerging jobs and declining positions.
Respondents expect heightened churn in Supply Chain, Transportation, Media, Entertainment, and Sports, while Manufacturing, Retail, and Wholesale of Consumer Goods experience lower-than-average churn.
The dataset reflects an anticipated net decrease of 14 million jobs, constituting 2% of current employment, with structural job growth of 69 million and a decline of 83 million jobs.
The human-machine interface has undergone a shift, with businesses incorporating automation at a slower pace than initially anticipated.
Presently, organizations estimate that 34% of business-related tasks are performed by machines, indicating a marginal 1% increase from the 2020 Future of Jobs Survey.
This contrasts with the 47% expectation in 2020 that nearly half of business tasks would be automated within the next five years.
Current projections suggest a revision down to 42% of tasks automated by 2027, with variations ranging from 35% in reasoning and decision-making to 65% in information and data processing.
While expectations for displacing physical and manual work by machines have diminished, traits such as reasoning, communicating, and coordinating are expected to become more automatable.
Artificial intelligence, foreseen to be adopted by nearly 75% of surveyed companies, is anticipated to drive high churn, with 50% expecting job growth and 25% anticipating job losses.
Specific areas of growth and decline
The synergy of macro trends and technology adoption will shape specific areas of job growth and decline:
Fastest-growing roles are predominantly driven by technology, digitalization, and sustainability. Top roles include AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Sustainability Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts, and Information Security Analysts.
Renewable Energy Engineers and Solar Energy Installation and System Engineers also feature prominently as economies transition towards renewable energy.
Fastest-declining roles are chiefly influenced by technology and digitalization, with clerical or secretarial roles like Bank Tellers, Postal Service Clerks, Cashiers, Ticket Clerks, and Data Entry Clerks expected to decline rapidly.
Substantial job growth is anticipated in education, agriculture, and digital commerce and trade. The Education industry expects a 10% job growth, yielding 3 million additional jobs for Vocational Education Teachers and University and Higher Education Teachers.
Agricultural professionals, especially Agricultural Equipment Operators, foresee a 30% increase, generating an additional 3 million jobs.
Approximately 4 million digitally-enabled roles, including E-Commerce Specialists, Digital Transformation Specialists, and Digital Marketing and Strategy Specialists, are forecasted to see growth.
The most significant losses are predicted in administrative roles and traditional security, factory, and commerce roles.
Surveyed organizations anticipate 26 million fewer jobs by 2027 in Record-Keeping and Administrative roles, encompassing Cashiers, Ticket Clerks, Data Entry, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll Clerks, and Administrative and Executive Secretaries. Digitalization and automation are the primary drivers.
Analytical thinking and creative thinking remain paramount skills for workers in 2023. Analytical thinking ranks as the core skill for most companies, constituting 9% of reported core skills on average.
Creative thinking, another cognitive skill, ranks second, followed by three self-efficacy skills—resilience, flexibility and agility; motivation and self-awareness; and curiosity and lifelong learning.