This article was published on May 3, 2023

23% of jobs to be disrupted in the next 5 years, WEF predicts

AI isn't the biggest threat

23% of jobs to be disrupted in the next 5 years, WEF predicts

Nearly a quarter of the world’s jobs will be disrupted in the coming five years, the latest report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found. Specifically, the job market will experience a 23% churn, as a result of emerging and vanishing positions.

According to WEF, the companies surveyed anticipate that 83m jobs will be lost, albeit offset by the creation of 69m new roles. This still leaves a deficit of 14m eliminated positions, which translates into a 2% contraction of the global workforce.

The report identified three key factors fueling the transformation of the labour market: the green transition, the increased adoption of new technologies, and the slow economic growth alongside the rising cost of living.

Respondents expect that investments that facilitate the green transition of businesses and the broader application of ESG standards will have the strongest net job creation effect, despite a minor displacement percentage. Sustainability Specialists are among the top fastest-growing roles, with Renewable Energy Engineers and Solar Energy Installation and System Engineers flourishing as well.

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New technologies are estimated to have an overall positive impact, even though they’ll eliminate positions.

In particular, big data analytics, climate change-environmental management technologies, encryption, and cybersecurity are forecast to be the biggest drivers of job growth. Digital platforms, apps, e-commerce, and AI will also generate more jobs than they eliminate. Only robots will be actually taking our jobs, resulting in a 11.4% role loss.

Correspondingly, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts, and Information Security Analysts top the list of the fastest-growing roles. The largest job losses — which are related to the increasing automation and digitisation — are expected in administrative roles and traditional security, factory, and commerce positions. These include, for instance, Cashiers, Bank Tellers, and Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks.

But despite technology’s considerable disruption, respondents believe that the greatest threat to the labour market is the economic downturn. Specifically, the slow economic growth coupled with supply shortages and inflation could be responsible for 87.4% of the net job displacement

From a regional perspective, countries across the world are expected to experience similar levels of disruption in the job market, driven by the same three key factors. The shift is slightly lower in Europe, North America, Middle East, and Northern Africa at 21%, while the highest change is expected in Central Asia at 25%.

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