Nearly a quarter of the world’s jobs will be disrupted in the next five years final report found by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Specifically, the job market will experience a churn of 23% due to emerging and disappearing positions.
According to WEF, the companies surveyed expect 83 million jobs to be lost, albeit offset by the creation of 69 million new jobs. This still leaves a shortfall of 14 million eliminated positions, translating to a 2% contraction in the global workforce.
The report identified three key factors driving the transformation of the labor market: the green transition, increased adoption of new technologies, and slow economic growth alongside the rising cost of living.
Respondents expect investments that facilitate the green transition of companies and the wider adoption of ESG standards to have the strongest net job creation effect, despite a small displacement rate. Sustainability specialists are among the fastest growing positions, while Renewable Energy Engineers and Solar Energy Installation and System Engineers are also thriving.
New technologies are estimated to have an overall positive effect, even if they will eliminate positions.
In particular, big data analytics, climate change and environmental management technologies, encryption and cybersecurity are expected to be the biggest drivers of job growth. Digital platforms, apps, e-commerce and AI will also create more jobs than disappear. Only robots will actually take over our jobs, resulting in a loss of function of 11.4%.
Accordingly, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts and Information Security Analysts top the list of fastest growing positions. The biggest job losses – related to increasing automation and digitization – are expected in administrative functions as well as traditional security, factory and trade functions. These include, for example, cashiers, bank clerks and bookkeepers, bookkeepers and payroll clerks.
But despite significant technology disruption, respondents believe the biggest threat to the job market is the economic downturn. In particular, the slow economic growth in combination with supply shortages and inflation could account for 87.4% of net job displacement
From a regional perspective, countries around the world are expected to experience similar levels of labor market disruption driven by the same three key factors. The shift is slightly lower in Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa at 21%, while the biggest change is expected in Central Asia at 25%.