How jobs and skills will evolve over the next five years.
The Future of Jobs Report 2023 explores how jobs and skills will evolve over the next five years. This fourth edition of the series continues the analysis of employer expectations to provide new insights on how socio-economic and technology trends will shape the workplace of the future. Economic, health and geopolitical trends have created divergent outcomes for labour markets globally in 2023. While tight labour markets are prevalent in high-income countries, low- and lower-middle-income countries continue to see higher unemployment than before the COVID-19 pandemic. On an individual level, labour-market outcomes are also diverging, as workers with only basic education and women face lower employment levels. At the same time, real wages are declining as a result of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and changing worker expectations and concerns about the quality of work are becoming more prominent issues globally. The fourth edition of the Survey has the widest coverage thus far by topic, geography and sector. The Future of Jobs Survey brings together the perspective of 803 companies – collectively employing more than 11.3 million workers – across 27 industry clusters and 45 economies from all world regions. The Survey covers questions of macrotrends and technology trends, their impact on jobs, their impact on skills, and the workforce transformation strategies businesses plan to use, across the 2023-2027 timeframe.
Technology adoption will remain a key driver of business transformation in the next five years. 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. Broader application of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards within their organizations will also have a significant impact. The next most-impactful trends are macroeconomic: the rising cost of living and slow economic growth. The impact of investments to drive the green transition was judged to be the sixth-most impactful macrotrend, followed by supply shortages and consumer expectations around social and environmental issues. Though still expected to drive the transformation of almost half of companies in the next five years, the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased geopolitical divisions and demographic dividends in developing and emerging economies were ranked lower as drivers of business evolution by respondents. The largest job creation and destruction effects come from environmental, technology and economic trends. Among the macrotrends listed, businesses predict the strongest net job-creation effect to be driven by investments that facilitate the green transition of businesses, the broader application of ESG standards and supply chains becoming more localized, albeit with job growth offset by partial job displacement in each case. Climate change adaptation and the demographic dividend in developing and emerging economies also rate high as net job creators. Technological advancement through increased adoption of new and frontier technologies and increased digital access are expected to drive job growth in more than half of surveyed companies, offset by expected job displacement in one-fifth of companies. The net job creation effect places these two trends in 6th and 8th place respectively. The three key drivers of expected net job destruction are slower economic growth, supply shortages and the rising cost of inputs, and the rising cost of living for consumers. Employers also recognize that increased geopolitical divisions and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will drive labour-market disruption – with an even split between employers who expect these trends to have a positive impact and employers who expect them to have a negative impact on jobs.