14 million jobs worldwide will disappear over the next 5 years, a new economic report shows
Huge disruptions will shake the global labor market over the next five years as the economy weakens and companies increase their use of technologies such as artificial intelligence.
That finding comes from the World Economic Forum, which on Sunday published a report based on surveys of more than 800 companies.
The WEF – which hosts a gathering of global leaders in Davos, Switzerland, every year – found that employers expect to create 69 million new jobs by 2027 and eliminate 83 million positions. This will result in a net loss of 14 million jobs, corresponding to 2% of current employment.
Many factors will contribute to departures from the labor market during this period. The shift to renewable energy systems will be a powerful engine for job creation, while lower economic growth and high inflation will drive losses.
Meanwhile, the rush to deploy artificial intelligence will serve as both a positive and a negative force.
Businesses will need new workers to help them implement and manage AI tools. Employment of data analysts and researchers, machine learning specialists and cybersecurity experts is projected to grow by 30% on average by 2027, according to the WEF.
At the same time, the spread of artificial intelligence will put many roles at risk, as robots replace humans in some cases. There could be 26 million fewer record-keeping and administrative jobs by 2027, the WEF predicted. Data entry clerks and executive secretaries are expected to see the biggest losses.
Despite the recent sensation around tools like ChatGPT, automation has expanded slowly in the early part of this decade. Organizations polled by the WEF estimated that 34% of all business-related tasks are currently performed by machines. It is only a hair above the number from 2020.
Expectations for the pace of future adoption have also been downgraded. In 2020, employers believed that 47% of tasks would be automated by 2025. They now expect that figure to reach 42% by 2027.
In the meantime, companies are reassessing what skills their employees need. Businesses now value “the ability to use AI tools effectively” more than computer programming, according to the WEF.