According to the Future of Jobs Report 2023 by the World Economic Forum, almost a quarter of jobs (23%) are expected to change, with AI and robotics being the leading drivers of transformation. The report, based on a survey of 803 companies, estimates that employers anticipate 69 million new jobs to be created and 83 million eliminated among the 673 million jobs corresponding to the dataset, a net decrease of 14 million jobs, or 2% of current employment.
Advancing technology adoption and increasing digitization will cause significant labour market churn, with an overall net positive in job creation. The fastest growing roles are being driven by technology and digitalization, with big data ranking at the top among technologies seen to create jobs. The employment of data analysts and scientists, big data specialists, AI machine learning specialists and cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow on average by 30% by 2027.
At the same time, the fastest declining roles are also being driven by technology and digitalization, with clerical or secretarial roles including bank tellers, cashiers and data entry clerks expected to decline fastest.
The report suggests that tasks are seen as no more automated now than they were three years ago when the report was last published. About a third of tasks (34%) are currently automated, just 1% above the 2020 figure. Surveyed companies also revised down their expectations for further automation, to 42% of tasks by 2027, compared to 2020 estimates of 47% of tasks by 2025.
However, while expectations of the displacement of physical and manual work by machines have decreased, reasoning, communicating and coordinating – all traits with a comparative advantage for humans – are expected to be more automatable in the future. Artificial intelligence, a key driver of potential algorithmic displacement, is expected to be adopted by nearly 75% of surveyed companies and is expected to lead to high churn – with 50% of organizations expecting it to create job growth and 25% expecting it to create job losses.
“For people around the world, the past three years have been filled with upheaval and uncertainty for their lives and livelihoods, with COVID-19, geopolitical and economic shifts, and the rapid advancement of AI and other technologies now risks adding more uncertainty,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. “The good news is that there is a clear way forward to ensure resilience. Governments and businesses must invest in supporting the shift to the jobs of the future through the education, reskilling and social support structures that can ensure individuals are at the heart of the future of work.”
In conclusion, while technology poses both challenges and opportunities to labour markets, the Future of Jobs Report 2023 predicts that AI and robotics will have a profound impact on the job market transformation by 2027. The report suggests that companies must invest in supporting the shift to the jobs of the future through education, reskilling, and social support structures to ensure that individuals are at the heart of the future of work.