The future of work is accelerated by the COVID-19
This year’s edition of the World Economic Forum’s report "The Future of Jobs 2020" analyzes the disruption caused by COVID-19 and the future outlook for jobs and skills, in the current context of global economic recession and speed up of digitalization.
Some of the main findings of the report are as follows:
- The automation along with current COVID-19 recession are creating a ‘double-disruption’ for workers: The report estimates that “by 2025, automation and a new division of labor between humans and machines will alter 85 million jobs worldwide and 97 million new functions will emerge throughout the surging demand for workers who can fill green economy jobs and digital ones (related with data and AI economy, cloud computing…)
- The report also highlights the importance of the human factor in some jobs: Those where “humans are called upon to retain their comparative advantage” vs the machines, such as for care economy jobs; roles in marketing, sales and content production, as well as roles of management, counseling, decision making, reasoning, communication and personal interaction.
- In this rapidly changing labor market, the role of reskilling and upskilling is gaining relevance: According to the report, by 2025, “44% of the skills that employees will need to perform their roles effectively will change”. The report shows that “on average, companies estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less and 94% of business leaders report that they expect employees to pick up new skills on the job (a sharp uptake from 65% in 2018)”.
- As a final conclusion the report alerts that “in the absence of proactive efforts, inequality is likely to be exacerbated by the dual impact of technology and the pandemic recession”