The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report warned that more than 5 million jobs may be lost to disruptive labour market changes, especially in the office and administration sector.
According to the WEF, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and other socio-economic factors will replace the need for human workers.
“The good news is that those same technological advances will also create 2.1 million new jobs.”
Most new jobs will be in specialised areas such as computing, mathematics, architecture, and engineering.
“Manufacturing and production roles are also expected to see a further bottoming out, but are anticipated to have relatively-good potential for upskilling, redeployment, and productivity enhancement,” the report stated.
The most valuable future skills
Harvard University associate professor David Deming said that social skills like sharing and negotiating will be crucial.
According to Deming, the modern workplace will “closely resemble preschool classrooms, where we learn social skills such as empathy and cooperation”.
Along with good negotiation and other social skills, strong mathematical ability “will be enormously beneficial”.
The graph below from Deming’s NBER working paper The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market shows the changes in employment and salaries based on mathematics and social skills.