Some 83 million jobs are projected to be lost in the next five years globally, a new report shows.
According to the 2023 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs Report, 69 million jobs will be created over the period, with agricultural equipment operators, heavy truck and bus drivers, vocational education teachers, mechanics and machinery repairers and business development professionals benefiting from the highest number of job opportunities.
According to the report, employers estimate that 44 per cent of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years.
Cognitive skills are reported to be growing in importance, reflecting the increasing importance of complex problem-solving in the workplace.
Creative thinking is growing in importance slightly more rapidly than analytical thinking, while technology literacy is the third-fastest-growing core skill.
As cutting-edge technology proliferates in key companies, big-data analytics, climate-change mitigation technology, environmental management technologies, encryption and cybersecurity, biotechnology, digital platforms and apps and agriculture technologies will be the biggest job creators.
Meanwhile, robots (humanoid and non-humanoid) will be the biggest job displacers among all technologies.
The world is adopting the newest artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, with industry players fearing the rapid development of advanced AI chatbots could birth spam bots that could inspire a faster spread of misinformation and radicalisation.
Just recently, cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Hinton, who is labelled the Godfather of AI, resigned from Google, citing AI’s growing influence and subsequent risk to humanity.
More than 85 per cent of organisations surveyed identified increased adoption of new and frontier technologies and broadening digital access as the trends most likely to drive transformation in their organisation.
Within this technology adoption, big data, cloud computing and AI feature prominently.
“More than 75 per cent of companies are looking to adopt these technologies in the next five years. The data also shows the impact of the digitalisation of commerce and trade. Digital platforms and apps are the technologies most likely to be adopted by the organisations surveyed, with 86 per cent of companies expecting to incorporate them into their operations in the next five years,” WEF noted.
E-commerce and digital trade are expected to be adopted by 75 per cent of businesses. Education and workforce technologies will be adopted by 81 per cent of companies by 2027.
The adoption of robots, power storage technology and distributed ledger technologies rank lower on the list.
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Of the 83 million jobs likely to be shed, the largest losses are expected in administrative roles and in traditional security, factory and commerce roles.
Surveyed organisations 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 digitalisation and automation,” according to the report.
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.
Among key macro trends, the biggest job creators in the next half a decade will be investments to facilitate the green transition of your business, and broader application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, with supply chains becoming more localised and climate-change-induced.
The key job displacers will be slower global economic growth, supply shortages and/or the rising cost of inputs for businesses and the rising cost of living for consumers.
Media, entertainment and sports (32 per cent), government and public sector (29 per cent) information technology and digital communications (29 per cent), real estate (27 per cent) financial services (26 per cent) supply chain and transportation (25 per cent) will have the biggest labour churn.
Labour-market churn refers to the total expected job movement - including new roles being created and existing roles being destroyed - as a proportion of current employment.
This excludes situations where a new employee replaces someone in the same role. AI and machine learning specialists are top of the list of professionals in the fastest-growing jobs, followed by sustainability specialists and business intelligence analysts.
The majority of the fastest-growing roles on the list are technology-related.
Meanwhile, the majority of the fastest declining roles are clerical or secretarial roles, with bank tellers and related clerks, postal service clerks, and cashiers and ticket clerks’ jobs expected to decline the fastest.
Information security analysts, FinTech engineers, data analysts and scientists, robotics engineers, big data specialists, agricultural equipment operators, database experts and digital transformation specialists will also be sought in earnest.
But bank tellers and related clerks, postal service clerks, cashiers and ticket clerks, data entry clerks, administrative and executive secretaries, material-recording and stock-keeping clerks, accounting, and bookkeeping and payroll clerks could lose their jobs in large numbers.
Others whose opportunities are on the wane are legislators and officials, statistical, finance and insurance clerks, door-to-door sales workers, news and street, security guards, credit and loans officers, claims adjusters, examiners, investigators, software testers and relationship managers.
In the next five years, agricultural equipment operators, heavy truck and bus drivers, vocational education teachers, mechanics and machinery repairers, business development professionals and building frame and related trade workers will all see a generation of over 2 million opportunities.
Data entry clerks could experience the shedding of over 7.5 million jobs, with administrative and executive secretaries, accounting, bookkeeping and payroll clerks, security guards and building caretakers and housekeepers losing over 2.5 million jobs.