The Future of Jobs 2023

by Carolyn Mathas

The World Economic Forum just published its Future of Jobs Report 2023. In a proverbial nutshell, the message is that there will be divergent outcomes for global labor markets in 2023. High-income countries are slowing tight labor markets, but low- and lower-middle-income countries are experiencing higher unemployment than before COVID-19.

The fourth annual report found that workers with only basic education and women face lower employment levels, real wages are declining as a result of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and evolving worker expectations and concerns about the quality of work are prominent issues globally.

The survey underlying the report involves the perspective of 803 companies employing more than 11.3 million workers across 27 industries and 45 economies from all world regions. It covers macro and technology trends, their impact on jobs and skills, and the workforce transformation strategies businesses plan to use across the 2023-2027 timeframe.

Survey highlights include:

  • Over 85% of organizations surveyed identify increased adoption of new and frontier technologies and broadening digital access as the trends most likely to drive transformation in their organization
  • There is also a broader application of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards within their organizations
  • Macroeconomic impacts involve the rising cost of living and slow economic growth, supply shortages, and consumer expectations around social and environmental issues
  • The largest job creation and destruction effects come from environmental, technology, and economic trends, and the green transition is expected to drive the strongest net job creation
  • Big data, cloud computing, and AI are technologies to be adopted, with 75% of companies looking to adopt these technologies in the next five years
  • 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
  • Big data analytics, climate change and environmental management technologies, and encryption and cybersecurity are expected to be the biggest drivers of job growth
  • Employers anticipate a structural labor market churn of 23% of jobs in the next five years. Respondents 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
  • Businesses are introducing automation into their operations at a slower pace than previously anticipated
  • The fastest-growing roles relative to their size today are driven by technology, digitalization, and sustainability
  • The fastest-declining roles include clerical or secretarial positions, with Bank Tellers and Related Clerks, Postal Service Clerks, Cashiers and Ticket Clerks, and Data Entry Clerks expected to decline fastest
  • Analytical thinking and creative thinking remain the most important skills for workers in 2023
  • Estimates are that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years
  • 60% of workers will require training before 2027, yet only 50% have access to adequate training today

For more information, access The Future of Jobs Report 2023.

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