The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and related global recession of 2020 have created a highly uncertain outlook for the labor market and accelerated the arrival of the future of work.
The report’s key findings include:
- The pace of technology adoption is expected to remain unabated and may accelerate in some areas. Automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a ‘double-disruption’ scenario for workers.
- Although the number of jobs destroyed will be surpassed by the number of ‘jobs of tomorrow’ created, in contrast to previous years, job creation is slowing while job destruction accelerates.
- Skills gaps continue to be high as in-demand skills across jobs change in the next five years. The top skills and skill groups which employers see as rising in prominence in the lead up to 2025 include groups such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving, and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. 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.
- The future of work has already arrived for a large majority of the online white-collar workforce. Eighty-four percent of employers are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work—with the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely.