As technological breakthroughs rapidly shift the frontier between the work tasks performed by humans and those performed by machines and algorithms, global labour markets are likely to undergo major transformations.
Machines and algorithms in the workplace are expected to create 133 million new roles, but cause 75 million jobs to be displaced by 2022 according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) called The Future of Jobs 2018. This means that the growth of artificial intelligence could create 58 million net new jobs in the next few years.
With this net positive job growth, there is expected to be a major shift in quality, location and permanency for the new roles. And companies are expected to expand the use of contractors doing specialised work and utilize remote staffing.
In 2025, machines are expected to perform more current work tasks than humans compared to 71% being performed by humans as of now. Due to this transformation, it will have a major impact on the global workforce.
This report is intended to provide guidance on how to improve the quality of the work being done by humans and how people should become prepared for emerging roles. And it is based on a survey of chief human resources officers and strategy executives from more than 300 global companies across 12 industries and 20 emerging economies. Plus, the report has determined that 54% of employees of large companies would need to up-skill in order to fully harness these growth opportunities. Over half of the companies surveyed said that they plan to train only employees in key roles and only one-third are planning to train at-risk workers.
Nearly 50% of all companies are expecting their full-time workforce to shrink by 2022 due to automation, but 40% are expecting to extend their workforce and more than 25% are expecting automation to create new roles in the enterprise.
“It is critical that business take an active role in supporting their existing workforces through reskilling and upskilling, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning, and that governments create an enabling environment to facilitate this workforce transformation. This is the key challenge of our time,” said World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.
Some of the fastest growing job opportunities across all industries include data analysts, software developers and social media specialists. Plus, jobs that require “human skills” like sales and marketing, innovation and customer service are also expected to increase in demand. Some of the jobs that are expected to go away include data entry, payroll and certain accounting functions. The WEF is working across multiple industries to design roadmaps to respond to these new opportunities.
The respondents provided three strategies to cope with these challenges. This includes hiring wholly new permanent staff with skills around new technologies, completely automating certain work tasks and retraining existing employees. And a smaller number of companies are expecting to allocate the work to freelancers and temporary workers.
Workforce expansion will vary across industries says the WEF report. Companies that are projecting a higher amount of job losses tend to be in the mining, consumer and IT industries than companies in professional services.
Between 2018 and 2022, the aviation and tourism industries are expected to see the highest amount of retraining. Physical tasks are also expected to be significantly replaced by mechanised labor so that humans can focus on more productive tasks.
And the report also pointed out that the demand of roles across certain regions also varies. There is expecting to be a growing demand of financial and investment advisors in East Asia and the Pacific and Western Europe, assembly and factory workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and electrical engineers in North America.
This WEF report seems to reaffirm a previous study from PwC where it was determined that AI, robotics and smart automation technology will bring greater economic benefits. And this could contribute up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030.
Source: Cyber Security Intelligence