The World Economic Forum’s bi-annual The Future of Jobs Report has been published since 2016. It tracks the labour-market impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, identifying the potential scale of occupational disruption and growth alongside strategies for empowering job transitions from declining to emerging roles.

The fourth 2023 edition of the report explores how jobs and skills will evolve over the next five years. The series continues the analysis of employer expectations to provide new insights on how socio-economic and technology trends will shape the workplace of the future.

Key findings:

  • Economic, health and geopolitical trends have created divergent outcomes for labour markets globally in 2023. 
  • The fourth edition of the Survey has the widest coverage thus far by topic, geography and sector. The Future of Jobs Survey brings together the perspective of 803 companies – collectively employing more than 11.3 million workers – across 27 industry clusters and 45 economies from all world regions.
  • Technology adoption will remain a key driver of business transformation in the next five years. Over 85% of organizations surveyed identify increased adoption of new and frontier technologies and broadening digital access as the trends most likely to drive transformation in their organization.
  • The largest job creation and destruction effects come from environmental, technology and economic trends. 
  • Within technology adoption, big data, cloud computing and AI feature highly on likelihood of adoption. More than 75% of companies are looking to adopt these technologies in the next five years.
  • The impact of most technologies on jobs is expected to be a net positive over the next five years. 
  • Employers anticipate a structural labour market churn of 23% of jobs in the next five years. 
  • The human-machine frontier has shifted, with businesses introducing automation into their operations at a slower pace than previously anticipated. Organizations today estimate that 34% of all business-related tasks are performed by machines, with the remaining 66% performed by humans.
  • The combination of macrotrends and technology adoption will drive specific areas of job growth and decline:
    • The fastest-growing roles relative to their size today are driven by technology, digitalization and sustainability. The majority of the fastest growing roles are technology-related roles.
    • The fastest-declining roles relative to their size today are driven by technology and digitalization. The majority of fastest declining roles are clerical or secretarial roles, with Bank Tellers and Related Clerks, Postal Service Clerks, Cashiers and Ticket Clerks, and Data Entry Clerks expected to decline fastest.
    • Large-scale job growth is expected in education, agriculture and digital commerce and trade. Jobs in the Education industry are expected to grow by about 10%, leading to 3 million additional jobs for Vocational Education Teachers and University and Higher education Teachers.
    • The largest losses are expected in administrative roles and in traditional security, factory and commerce roles.
  • Analytical thinking and creative thinking remain the most important skills for workers in 2023. 
  • Employers estimate that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years. 
  • Six in 10 workers will require training before 2027, but only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today. 
  • The skills that companies report to be increasing in importance the fastest are not always reflected in corporate upskilling strategies. 
  • Respondents express confidence in developing their existing workforce, however, they are less optimistic regarding the outlook for talent availability in the next five years. 
  • Surveyed companies report that investing in learning and on-the-job training and automating processes are the most common workforce strategies which will be adopted to deliver their organizations’ business goals. 
  • A majority of companies will prioritize women (79%), youth under 25 (68%) and those with disabilities (51%) as part of their DEI programmes. 
  • Forty-five percent of businesses see funding for skills training as an effective intervention available to governments seeking to connect talent to employment.