A new report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has predicted that nearly a quarter of the world’s jobs will be lost in the next five years, due to factors such as weak economies, green energy transformation, supply chain reshoring, and adoption of AI and other technologies. According to the report, 83 million jobs will be eliminated globally by 2027, while 69 million new jobs will be created, resulting in a net loss of 14 million jobs, or 2% of the current global workforce.
The report, which surveyed more than 800 corporate employers in 45 economies worldwide, found that technology and digitization are both drivers of job creation and destruction. AI technology is expected to take away many jobs, with applications such as ChatGPT automating many tasks related to reasoning, communication, and coordination. However, the trend towards job automation has been slower than expected, with automation currently accounting for only 34% of business-related work, according to the surveyed companies.
The report predicts that jobs related to technology, digitalization, and sustainable development will see a significant increase in demand, while positions such as clerks, bank tellers, cashiers, conductors, and data entry clerks will be eliminated at the fastest rate. AI and machine learning specialists, sustainability specialists, and information security analysts are among the job titles expected to grow the fastest, while renewable energy engineers and solar installation and systems engineers will also see relatively rapid growth.
While some 75% of employers surveyed said they intend to adopt AI technologies within the next five years, up to 26 million recordkeeping and administrative jobs are expected to be eliminated. However, companies will need to hire additional staff to help them adopt and manage AI tools, with demand for data analysts, data scientists, machine learning specialists, and cybersecurity specialists expected to grow by an average of 30% through 2027.
Despite the significant impact of technology and digitization on the labor market, the net impact of most technologies is expected to be positive over the next five years, according to the report. Big data analytics, management technology, and cybersecurity are expected to become the top drivers of job growth, while investments to promote green corporate transformation and wider application of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards are expected to create new jobs.