14 million jobs worldwide will vanish in the next 5 years: Future of Jobs Report 2023
About a quarter of jobs expected to change in next five years: World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2023
- Some 23% of jobs are expected to change by 2027, with 69 million new jobs created and 83 million eliminated
- New report suggests green transition and localization of supply chains will lead to net job growth
Adoption of technology and increased digital access will also create net job growth but with greater offsets from losses; slower economic growth, supply shortages and inflation pose the greatest risks to jobs
- Fastest-growing jobs are AI and machine learning specialists, sustainability specialists, business intelligence analysts and information security specialists; largest absolute growth is expected in education, agriculture and digital commerce
- Huge disruptions will rock the global job market over the next five years as the economy weakens and companies boost adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence.
- That finding comes from the World Economic Forum, which on Sunday published a report based on surveys of more than 800 companies.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has revealed that almost a quarter of jobs, or 23 per cent, are expected to change in the next five years via a 10.2 per cent growth in some jobs, and a 12.3 per cent decline in others as a result of technology and digitalisation, according to a publication The Future of Jobs Report 2023.
The report brings together the perspective of 803 companies that collectively employ more than 11.3 million workers in 27 industry clusters and 45 economies from all regions of the world.
The report said that employers anticipate 69 million new jobs will be created and 83 million eliminated among the 673 million jobs corresponding to the dataset, a net decrease of 14 million jobs, or two per cent of current employment.
Macrotrends, including the green transition, environment, social and governance (ESG) standards and localisation of supply chains, are the leading drivers of job growth, with economic challenges including high inflation, slower economic growth and supply shortages posing the greatest threat.
“Advancing technology adoption and increasing digitisation will cause significant labour market churn, with an overall net positive in job creation,“ said WEF in a statement.
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World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2023
WEF — which hosts a gathering of global leaders in Davos, Switzerland, every year — found that employers expect to create 69 million new jobs by 2027 and eliminate 83 million positions. That will result in a net loss of 14 million jobs, equivalent to 2% of current employment.
Many factors will feed labor market churn during that period. The shift to renewable energy systems will be a powerful engine for generating jobs, while slower economic growth and high inflation will drive losses.
Increased Jobs in Big Data, Ai & Cybersecurity
Despite the recent sensation surrounding tools like ChatGPT, automation has expanded slowly in the early part of this decade. Organizations polled by WEF estimated that 34% of all business-related tasks are currently performed by machines. That’s just a hair above the figure from 2020.
Expectations for the pace of future adoption have also been revised down. In 2020, employers thought 47% of tasks would be automated by 2025. They now expect that number to reach 42% by 2027.
In the meantime, companies are rethinking what skills their employees need. Firms now value “the ability to efficiently use AI tools” more than computer programming, according to WEF.
The rush to deploy artificial intelligence, meanwhile, will serve as both a positive and a negative force.
Companies will need new workers to help them implement and manage AI tools. Employment of data analysts and scientists, machine learning specialists and cybersecurity experts is forecast to grow 30% on average by 2027, according to WEF.
Within technology adoption, big data, cloud computing and AI feature highly on likelihood of adoption. More than 75% of companies are looking to adopt these technologies in the next five years.
Loss of 26 million jobs in record-keeping and administrative jobs by 2027
At the same time, the proliferation of artificial intelligence will put many roles at risk, as robots replace humans in some cases. There could be 26 million fewer record-keeping and administrative jobs by 2027, WEF predicted. Data entry clerks and executive secretaries are expected to see the steepest losses.
Jobs in Digitalisation also see an increase
The data also shows the impact of the digitalization of commerce and trade. Digital platforms and apps are the technologies most likely to be adopted by the organizations surveyed, with 86% of companies expecting to incorporate them into their operations in the next five years. E-commerce and digital trade are expected to be adopted by 75% of businesses.
The second-ranked technology encompasses education and workforce technologies, with 81% of companies looking to adopt these technologies by 2027. The adoption of robots, power storage technology and distributed ledger technologies rank lower on the list.
The impact of most technologies on jobs is expected to be a net positive over the next five years. Big data analytics, climate change and environmental management technologies, and encryption and cybersecurity are expected to be the biggest drivers of job growth.
Agriculture technologies, digital platforms and apps, e-commerce and digital trade, and AI are all expected to result in significant labour-market disruption, with substantial proportions of companies forecasting job displacement in their organizations, offset by job growth elsewhere to result in a net positive. All but two technologies are expected to be net job creators in the next five years: humanoid robots and non-humanoid robots.
Employers anticipate a structural labour market churn of 23% of jobs in the next five years. This can be interpreted as an aggregate measure of disruption, constituting a mixture of emerging jobs added and declining jobs eliminated.
Respondents to this year’s Future of Jobs Survey expect a higher-than-average churn in the Supply Chain and Transportation and Media, Entertainment and Sports industries, and lower-than-average churn in Manufacturing as well as Retail and Wholesale of Consumer Goods. Of the 673 million jobs reflected in the dataset in this report, respondents expect structural job growth of 69 million jobs and a decline of 83 million jobs. This corresponds to a net decrease of 14 million jobs, or 2% of current employment.
The human-machine frontier has shifted, with businesses introducing automation into their operations at a slower pace than previously anticipated. Organizations today estimate that 34% of all business-related tasks are performed by machines, with the remaining 66% performed by humans.
This represents a negligible 1% increase in the level of automation that was estimated by respondents to the 2020 edition of the Future of Jobs Survey. This pace of automation contradicts expectations from 2020 survey respondents that almost half (47%) of business tasks would be automated in the following five years.
Today, respondents have revised down their expectations for future automation to predict that 42% of business tasks will be automated by 2027. Task automation in 2027 is expected to vary from 35% of reasoning and decision-making to 65% of information and data processing.
But while expectations of the displacement of physical and manual work by machines has decreased, reasoning, communicating and coordinating – all traits with a comparative advantage for humans – are expected to be more automatable in the future. Artificial intelligence, a key driver of potential algorithmic displacement, is expected to be adopted by nearly 75% of surveyed companies and is expected to lead to high churn – with 50% of organizations expecting it to create job growth and 25% expecting it to create job losses.
The combination of macrotrends and technology adoption will drive specific areas of job growth and decline:
– The fastest-growing roles relative to their size today are driven by technology, digitalization and sustainability. The majority of the fastest growing roles are technology-related roles. AI and Machine Learning Specialists top the list of fast-growing jobs, followed by Sustainability Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts and Information Security Analysts. Renewable Energy Engineers, and Solar Energy Installation and System Engineers are relatively fast-growing roles, as economies shift towards renewable energy.
– The fastest-declining roles relative to their size today are driven by technology and digitalization. The majority of fastest declining roles are clerical or secretarial roles, with Bank Tellers and Related Clerks, Postal Service Clerks, Cashiers and Ticket Clerks, and Data Entry Clerks expected to decline fastest.
– Large-scale job growth is expected in education, agriculture and digital commerce and trade. Jobs in the Education industry are expected to grow by about 10%, leading to 3 million additional jobs for Vocational Education Teachers and University and Higher education Teachers. Jobs for agricultural professionals, especially Agricultural Equipment Operators, are expected to see an increase of around 30%, leading to an additional 3 million jobs. Growth is forecast in approximately 4 million digitally-enabled roles, such as E-Commerce Specialists, Digital Transformation Specialists, and Digital Marketing and Strategy Specialists.
– The largest losses are expected in administrative roles and in traditional security, factory and commerce roles. Surveyed organizations predict 26 million fewer jobs by 2027 in Record-Keeping and Administrative roles, including Cashiers and Ticket Clerks; Data Entry, Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks; and Administrative and Executive Secretaries, driven mainly by digitalization and automation.
Which Skills are Most in Demand?
Analytical thinking and creative thinking remain the most important skills for workers in 2023. Analytical thinking is considered a core skill by more companies than any other skill and constitutes, on average, 9% of the core skills reported by companies.
Creative thinking, another cognitive skill, ranks second, ahead of three self-efficacy skills – resilience, flexibility and agility; motivation and self-awareness; and curiosity and lifelong learning – in recognition of the importance of workers ability to adapt to disrupted workplaces.
Dependability and attention to detail, ranks seventh, behind technological literacy. The core skills top 10 is completed by two attitudes relating to working with others – empathy and active listening and leadership and social influence – as well as quality control.
Employers estimate that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years. Cognitive skills are reported to be growing in importance most quickly, reflecting the increasing importance of complex problem-solving in the workplace.
Surveyed businesses report creative thinking to be growing in importance slightly more rapidly than analytical thinking. Technology literacy is the third-fastest growing core skill. Self-efficacy skills rank above working with others, in the rate of increase in importance of skills reported by businesses.
The socio-emotional attitudes which businesses consider to be growing in importance most quickly are curiosity and lifelong learning; resilience, flexibility and agility; and motivation and self-awareness. Systems thinking, AI and big data, talent management, and service orientation and customer service complete the top 10 growing skills.
While respondents judged no skills to be in net decline, sizable minorities of companies judge reading, writing and mathematics; global citizenship; sensory-processing abilities; and manual dexterity, endurance and precision to be of declining importance for their workers.
Increased Need for Retraining and Reskilling
Six in 10 workers will require training before 2027, but only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today. The highest priority for skills training from 2023-2027 is analytical thinking, which is set to account for 10% of training initiatives, on average.
The second priority for workforce development is to promote creative thinking, which will be the subject of 8% of upskilling initiatives. Training workers to utilize AI and big data ranks third among company skills-training priorities in the next five years and will be prioritized by 42% of surveyed companies. Employers also plan to focus on developing worker’s skills in leadership and social influence (40% of companies); resilience, flexibility and agility (32%); and curiosity and lifelong learning (30%).
Two-thirds of companies expect to see a return on investment on skills training within a year of the investment, whether in the form of enhanced cross-role mobility, increased worker satisfaction or enhanced worker productivity.
The skills that companies report to be increasing in importance the fastest are not always reflected in corporate upskilling strategies. Beyond the top-ranked cognitive skills are two skills which companies prioritize much more highly than would appear according to their current importance to their workforce: AI and big data as well as leadership and social influence.
Companies rank AI and big data 12 places higher in their skills strategies than in their evaluation of core skills, and report that they will invest an estimated 9% of their reskilling efforts in it – a greater proportion than the more highly-ranked creative thinking, indicating that though AI and big data is part of fewer strategies, it tends to be a more important element when it is included. Leadership and social influence ranks five places higher than suggested by its current importance and is the highest ranked attitude.
Other skills which are strategically emphasized by business are design and user experience (nine places higher), environmental stewardship (10 places higher), marketing and media (six places higher) and networks and cybersecurity (five places higher).