AI is a transformative technology that will fundamentally reshape economies and pose significant challenges for policymakers. In fact, many believe that AI could be the fifth industrial revolution, bringing with it massive changes to nearly every aspect of our society. But, if AI sparks the next industrial revolution, the question then becomes, which jobs will be most at risk in the upcoming years? As a software development agency, how do we at Grio continue to support and protect our employees while embracing the newest technological advancements?
An industrial revolution, by definition, is a period of global transition that impacts nearly every aspect of daily life. Though we’ve all heard about the Industrial Revolution, there have actually been four main industrial revolutions in our history:
- First Industrial Revolution (1760-1840): A shift in the labor market from agriculture to industry, which led to a social economy rift within society. Quality of life decreased for skilled workers as machines replaced the skills that they were previously paid well for. However, the middle class eventually grew as factories expanded and allowed for higher wages for workers.
- Second Industrial Revolution (1870): Discovery of electricity, gas, and oil.
- Third Industrial Revolution (1969): Implementation of electronics and nuclear energy.
- Fourth Industrial Revolution (2000): Permeation of digital technology and renewable energy.
AI now stands to be the fifth industrial revolution, once again sending our societies and economies into a tailspin. So, will it impact the job market and our future job security? The 2023 Future of Jobs Report attempts to answer that question.
The 2023 Future of Jobs Report
The 2023 Future of Jobs Report, published by the World Economic Forum, examines job trends and directions for the 2023-2027 period. It is based on the expectations of a wide cross-section of the world’s largest employers and is complemented by research completed by Coursera, Indeed, and LinkedIn.
The survey was presented to 803 companies, collectively employing more than 11.3 million workers, across 27 industry clusters and 45 economies from all world regions.
The questions covered the macrotrends and technology trends of the upcoming years, including:
- Impact on jobs
- Impact on skills
- The workforce transformation strategies businesses plan to use
A summary of the key findings is available below.
Key Takeaways From the 2023 Report
Though I invite you to read the full report, there were several key findings that were worth noting, as discussed below.
Biggest Impacts on the Job Market
The largest job creation and job destruction effects come from environmental (e.g. climate change, pandemics), technological (e.g. AI), and economic (e.g. recession) trends. In 2023, economic, health, and geopolitical trends have impacted job creation by creating divergent outcomes for labor markets globally.
Technology and the Job Market
The human-machine frontier has shifted, with businesses introducing automation into their operations at a slower pace than previously anticipated. However, that doesn’t mean that technology is not still being adopted at a blindly quick rate.
Within technology adoption, several features, including big data, cloud computing, and AI, are most likely to be adopted in the upcoming years.
Fastest Growing Jobs
Large-scale job growth is anticipated in the following fields:
- Education: Expected to grow by about 10%, leading to 3 million additional jobs for vocational, university, and higher education teachers.
- Agriculture: Agricultural professions, especially agricultural equipment operators, are expected to increase by 30%, leading to 3 million additional jobs.
- Digital Commerce and Trade: Expected to see about 4 million additional digitally enabled roles in the job market, such as e-commerce specialists, digital transformation specialists, and digital marketing and strategy specialists.
In addition to these fields, growth is expected in roles that are driven by technology, digitalization, and sustainability, including:
- AI and Machine Learning Specialists
- Sustainability Specialists
- Business Intelligence Analysts and Information Security Analysts
- Renewable Energy and Solar Energy Installation Engineers
- System Engineers
Fastest Declining Jobs
A large-scale decline is expected in fields driven by technology and digitization. By 2027, there are expected to be 26 million fewer jobs in professions driven by automation and digitization.
Some of the professions most likely to be impacted include:
- Clerical or secretarial roles
- Bank tellers and related clerks
- Bookkeeping and payroll clerks
- Postal service clerks
- Cashiers and ticket clerks
- Data entry clerks
DEIA in the Job Market
Most companies report that they will be prioritizing DEI programs in the upcoming years. When hiring, 79% of companies will prioritize women, 68% will prioritize youth under the age of 25, and 51% will prioritize individuals with disabilities.
What Employers are Looking For
In recent years, businesses have had to adapt to workflow disrupted by things like pandemics and civil unrest. These trends are expected to continue, and employers estimate that 44% of workers will continue to be disrupted in the next five years. As a result, the skills that employers are looking for in their employees are changing.
While no skillset was in a net decline, sizeable minorities of companies are no longer prioritizing skills like reading, writing, mathematics, global citizenship, sensory-processing abilities, manual dexterity, endurance, and precision.
Instead, the majority of companies believe that analytical and creative thinking are the most important skills an employee can possess, reflecting the importance of complex problem-solving in the workplace. In fact, the top skills that employers will be seeking in the upcoming years include:
- Analytical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Resilience, flexibility, and agility
- Ability to adapt
- Curiosity and lifelong learning
- Technological literacy
- Attention to detail
Other Takeaways of Note
In addition to the findings above, the 2023 Future of Jobs Report found that:
- Employers anticipate a structural labor market churn of 23% of jobs in the next five years
- 6 out of 10 workers will require training before 2027 but only half will have access to adequate training opportunities
- 45% of businesses see funding for skills training as an effective intervention available to governments seeking to connect talent to employment
Grio and the Future Job Market
At Grio, we prioritize passion, excellence, curiosity, empathy, and persistence. Like the 2023 Future of Jobs Report, we understand that complex problem-solving and creativity are essential components of success. We know that these traits will continue to serve us well in the upcoming years and, by extension, we will continue to provide our clients with the highest level of professionalism and quality.