Concerns about technology-driven displacement of jobs, structural change to the economy and increasing automation are nothing new. However, the bounty of technological innovation which defines our current era can also be leveraged to unleash human potential, giving much needed insights that will orient labour markets and workers towards new opportunities today and in the future of work. While technology-driven job creation is still expected to outpace job destruction over the next five years, economic contraction is reducing the rate of growth of the jobs of tomorrow. There is a renewed urgency to take proactive measures to ease the transition of workers into more sustainable job opportunities.
Automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a ‘double-disruption’ scenario for workers. In addition to the current disruption from pandemicinduced lockdowns and economic contraction, growing technological adoption by companies will transform tasks, jobs and skills by 2025. According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report 2020, 43 percent of businesses surveyed indicate that they are set to reduce their workforce through technology integration, 41 percent plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialised work, while 34% plan to expand their workforce through technology integration. By 2025, the time currently spent on work tasks by humans and machines will be equal. A significant share of companies also expect to make changes to their location, value chains, and the size of their workforce in the next five years due to factors other than technology.