Companies predict the strongest net job-creation effect to be driven by investments that facilitate the green transition of businesses, and the broader application of ESG standards and supply chains becoming more localised, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The report titled ‘Future of Jobs’ draws on survey data from 803 companies, collectively employing over 11.3 million workers, and presenting an overview of 27 industries and 45 economies from various regions worldwide.
The findings aim to shed light on the path of job trends from 2023 to 2027, offering insights into the factors that will mould the market in the coming years.
“After widespread instability in the last three years across the world of work, we hope the outlook provided in this report will contribute to an ambitious multi stakeholder agenda to better prepare workers, businesses, governments, educators and civil society for the disruptions and opportunities to come, and empower them to navigate these social, environmental and technological transitions” says Saadia Zahidi managing director of World Economic Forum
Job creation and displacement
According to the findings, the labour market is set to undergo significant changes in the next five years, which are expected to create and displace a number of different roles.
The following six high-level trends were listed as key drivers of this transformative shift:
- Increased adoption of new and frontier technologies (86.2%)
- Broadening digital access (86.1%)
- Broader application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards (80.6%)
- Rising cost of living for consumers (74.9%)
- Slower global economic growth (73%)
- Investments to facilitate the green transition of your business (69.1%)
Among these impactors, the survey revealed that the majority of organisations anticipate new job-creation primarily in areas aligned with sustainability-driven criteria. Notably, the leading factors contributing to a net job growth were investments aimed at facilitating the green transition of their business (52.2%), a broader implementation of ESG standards (51.4%), localised supply chains (46.5%), and investments in adapting operations to combat climate change (49.3%).
At the other end, economic challenges present the greatest risk of net job displacement, with slower global economic growth being the most significant factor, accounting for 44.4%. Additionally, concerns related to supply shortages and increased costs accounted for 23.7% of the potential job displacement, while the rising cost of living represented a 19.3% share.
The fastest-changing roles relative to their size
The fastest growing roles, relative to their current sizes, are primarily influenced by technology, digitalisation, and sustainability.
Topping the list are AI and machine learning specialists, followed closely by sustainability professionals, business intelligence analysts, and information security analysts.
As economies worldwide look to embrace low carbon energy solutions, renewable energy engineers, along with solar installation and system engineers are seeing notable growth, playing a crucial part in the ongoing transition.
In contrast, the rapid advancement of technology and digitalisation is also expected to lead to substantial displacement of jobs too. Specifically, occupations such as bank tellers and related clerks, postal service clerks, cashiers and ticket clerks, and data entry clerks are all anticipated to experience the most significant decline.
The reports conclusion
The report concludes by firstly acknowledging the effects of recent years and emphasises the challenges faced by policy-makers, employers, and workers in light of global macro trends and disruptions.
Moreover, the report underscores that despite the media coverage surrounding roles in the green transition and generative AI, these areas have been recognised by businesses themselves as major catalysts for future job creation. Holding substantial potential for driving economic growth and employment opportunities.
Although the report identifies access to skilled talent as the primary barrier, companies seem to be recognising the need to adopt a varied approach to talent acquisition and development, reflecting a growing understanding of the dynamic nature of the workforce and the evolving requirements of the digital.
The report concludes by acknowledging the effects of recent years, with global macro trends and disruptions creating an ever-more complex environment for policy-makers, employers and workers to navigate, and uncertainty and volatility remain high.
However, it reiterates that while roles in the green transition and generative AI dominate the media headlines, these areas have also been identified as some of the largest drivers of future job creation by businesses themselves.
Lastly, while companies continue to identify access to skilled talent as the single biggest barrier to business transformation, expectations regarding workforce strategies show an increasing level of nuance, pragmatism and proactive engagement
You can find the full report here.
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