What will the future of jobs be like? WEF has clues

Rate of automation - WEF inforgraphics
Rate of automation - WEF inforgraphics

APP DigitalAfter years of growing income inequality, technology-driven displacement of jobs and rising societal discord globally, the combined health and economic shocks of 2020 have put economies into freefall and disrupted labour markets.

Millions of individuals globally have lost their livelihoods and millions more are at risk from the global recession, structural change to the economy and further automation. Additionally, the pandemic and the subsequent recession have impacted most those communities which were already at a disadvantage.Top 10 skills by 2025 as recommended by WEF.

Top 10 skills by 2025 as recommended by WEF.The Future of Jobs Report by World Economic Forum (WEF) provides the timely insights needed to orient labour markets and workers towards opportunity today and in the future of work. In its third edition, the report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change and direction of travel.

Reskilling job needs by 2025.
Reskilling job needs by 2025.

This year, the WEF finds that while technology-driven job creation is still expected to outpace job destruction over the next five years, the economic contraction is reducing the rate of growth in the jobs of tomorrow.

COVID-19 is pushing countries
COVID-19 is pushing countries for change in job needs.

There is a renewed urgency to take proactive measures to ease the transition of workers into more sustainable job opportunities. There is room for measured optimism in the data, but supporting workers will require global, regional and national public-private collaboration at an unprecedented scale and speed.

The report’s key findings include:

– The pace of technology adoption is expected to remain unabated and may accelerate in some areas.

– Automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a ‘double-disruption’ scenario for workers.

– Although the number of jobs destroyed will be surpassed by the number of ‘jobs of tomorrow’ created, in contrast to previous years, job creation is slowing while job destruction accelerates.

– Skills gaps continue to be high as in demand skills across jobs change in the next five years

– The future of work has already arrived for a large majority of the online white-collar workforce.

– In the absence of proactive efforts, inequality is likely to be exacerbated by the dual impact of technology and the pandemic recession.

– Companies need to invest in better metrics of human and social capital through adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics and matched with renewed measures of human capital accounting.

– The public sector needs to provide stronger support for reskilling and upskilling for at-risk or displaced workers.

Compiled by Shumaila Andleeb