WEF: COVID-19 Recession Accelerating Changes that Could Displace 85 Mln Jobs

Miners speed up automation as covid-19 impacts linger - MINING.COM

Miners speed up automation as covid-19 impacts linger - MINING.COM

"It's a double disruption scenario that presents another hurdle for workers in this hard time", said WEF managing director Saadia Zahidi in a news release.

The report said a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines could displace an estimated 85 million jobs by 2025, while giving rise to 97 million new roles.

WEF said now around a third of all work tasks were handled by machines, with humans doing the rest, but by 2025 the balance would shift.

The research indicates that what used to be considered the "future of work" has already arrived and that automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million jobs globally by 2025.

WEF said job creation is slowing and job destruction is accelerating as companies use technology rather than people for data entry.

Humans will "retain their comparative advantage" in managing, advising, decision-making, reasoning, communicating and interacting, the report says.

The report, which also analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the USA labor market between February and May, found that most displaced workers were on average young, women, and lower-waged employees.

The new jobs are expected to be generated in the fields such as artificial intelligence and content creation.

Job roles such as process automation specialists, information security analysts, and Internet of Things specialists are also growing in demand.

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The WEF predicts that in 2025, analytical thinking, creativity, and flexibility will be among the top skills needed.

For those workers set to remain in their roles, the share of core skills that will change in the next five years is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need reskilling (up 4%).

Despite the high costs of retraining, 66% of employers surveyed by WEF think these efforts will pay off in terms of return on investment within just one year. The public sector will need a three-tiered approach to help workers. Currently, only 21% of businesses report being able to make use of public funds to support their employees through reskilling and upskilling.

Another strong trend is remote working with 84% of employers set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote working.

The report calls on governments to do more to help workers by strengthening social safety nets, boosting educational offerings and providing incentives to invest in the jobs of tomorrow.

To address concerns about productivity and wellbeing, about one-third of all employers said they will take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging among their employees. There has been a four-fold increase in the numbers of individuals seeking out opportunities for learning online through their own initiative, a five-fold increase in employer provision of online learning opportunities to their workers and a nine-fold enrolment increase for learners accessing online learning through government programmes.

"For those workers, there may be some good news in the future because there will be upward wage pressure and much more recognition of the type of work they do", Zahidi said.

The Future of Jobs 2020 report provided insight into the labour dynamics in South Africa, which include jobs rising in demand and those which are set to become redundant.

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