The lockdowns induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and related global recession have created a highly uncertain outlook for the job market.

This future of jobs report by the World Economic Forum aims to shed light on: pandemic-related disruptions contextualized within a longer history of business cycles, as well as a compilation of perspectives on technology and job skills for the next five years. The report also provides detailed information for 15 industrial sectors and 26 advanced and emerging countries.

The report’s key findings include:

  • The adoption of cloud computing, big data, and e-commerce remain a high priority for business leaders, following a trend established in previous years.
  • Automation, coupled with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a “double break” scenario for workers.
  • By 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a change in the division of labor between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge that are better suited to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. .
  • The top skills employers see as becoming important in the lead up to 2025 include critical thinking, problem solving, active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility.
  • Around a third of all employers hope to take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging among employees through digital tools and remote working.
  • When comparing the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis on people with lower educational levels with that of the COVID-19 crisis, the current impact is much more significant and is more likely to deepen existing inequalities.
  • Those who are employed are placing greater emphasis on online training for personal development, while those who are unemployed have focused on learning digital skills.
  • For those workers who will remain in office, the share of basic skills that will change in the next five years is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need retraining (up to 4%).
  • Despite the current economic downturn, the vast majority of employers recognize the value of investing in human capital, yet only 42% of employees are taking advantage of employer-supported skills upgrade opportunities.
  • A significant number of business leaders understand that retraining employee skills is profitable and has significant medium and long-term dividends for their company and society.
  • The public sector must create incentives for investment in the markets and jobs of tomorrow; provide stronger safety nets for displaced workers amid job transitions; and decisively address improvements in education and training systems.

The report can be consulted at this link.