What the next 20 years will mean for jobs




The next two decades promise a full-scale revolution in our working lives. Before we look into the next 20 years, let’s take a quick look at the present – and something once considered paradoxical. We’re already living in an age of a lot of robots – and a lot of jobs.

As the number of robots at work has reached record levels, it’s worth noting that in 2018 the global unemployment level fell to 5.2%, according to a report last month – the lowest level in 38 years. In other words, high tech and high employment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We’re living the proof of that today.

Given this synchronicity between employment and tech, I believe there are reasons to be hopeful that jobs will become more accessible, more flexible and more liberating over the next two decades.

Here are five significant changes I foresee, as I previously highlighted for the World Economic Forum:

  • AI and robotics will ultimately create more work, not less. Much like today.
  • There won’t be a shortage of jobs but – if we don’t take the right steps – a shortage of skilled talent to fill those jobs.
  • As remote work becomes the norm, cities will enter the talent wars of the future. Untethering work from place is going to give people new geographic freedom to live where they want, and cities and metropolitan regions will compete to attract this new mobile labour force.
  • The majority of the workforce will freelance by 2027, based on workforce growth rates found in Freelancing in America 2017.
  • Technological change will keep increasing, so learning new skills will be an ongoing necessity throughout life.

The most constructive discussion is not whether there will or won’t be changes, but what we should do to ensure the best, most inclusive outcomes.

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