Nearly a quarter of the jobs in the workforce are expected to change by 2027, with AI and technology positions at the center of the shift, according to a World Economic Forum report.
- In the global workforce, 69 million new jobs will be created and 83 million positions will be eliminated in the next four years, the report estimates.
- Green energy, technology, and supply chain jobs are driving the changes in the workforce, according to the World Economic Forum.
- Half of employers believe that AI will create more jobs, while another quarter believe AI will cost jobs.
While the green energy transition and localization of supply chains will help drive the creation of 69 million new jobs, advances in technology and digitalization will be among the factors behind the elimination of 83 million positions over the next four years.
The shift will impact 23% of the workforce, either by creating a new job or eliminating an existing one, according to estimates from 803 companies surveyed for “The Future of Jobs Report 2023.”
Some of the fastest job growth will come in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning fields, while education, agriculture, and digital commerce are expected to produce the largest numbers of jobs overall.
High inflation, supply shortages and slower economic growth pose some of the biggest threats to job creation, the report said.
Despite the projections showing an overall loss of jobs, employers were generally positive about the role that technology, and particularly AI, will play in job growth. Of employers surveyed, half believed AI would create jobs, while another quarter said jobs would be lost to AI tools. Companies like Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) and Microsoft (MSFT) have recently featured updates on AI integration as part of their quarterly earnings reports.
After several years of economic upheaval stemming from the Covid pandemic, AI is now providing for even more job uncertainty, said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.
“The good news is that there is a clear way forward to ensure resilience," said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. "Governments and businesses must invest in supporting the shift to the jobs of the future through the education, reskilling and social support structures that can ensure individuals are at the heart of the future of work.”
Automation Projected to Increase
The task automation trend will continue into 2027 when employers believe 42% of physical and manual tasks will be handled by a machine, though three years ago employers believed automation levels would be higher than they are now.
The automation of physical and manual tasks hasn’t significantly increased since the World Economic Forum’s last report three years ago, with employers responding that 34% of tasks are now automated.
“But when you look specifically at the types of tasks, it’s very clear that the automation of physical and manual work is no more accelerated than it was three years ago,” said Zahidi during a podcast on the report. “But when it comes to very human traits like coordinating between people, like helping with decision making and reasoning, or communicating, that's where actually you see an uptick. That's where you see a greater risk of automation or a greater prediction around automation than before.”