What motivates him and what to prepare for in the near future

American workers have faced historic disruption and hardship since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the job market in March 2020. Almost a third of American adults have difficulty meeting their usual expenses, and the unemployment rate is hovering above pre-pandemic levels. In addition to these new challenges related to the pandemic, greater demographic and technological forces have also accelerated, bringing about changes that had not been anticipated or expected in the decades to come.

As we approach our third year of the pandemic, Americans are caught in an economy transformed by rapid technological change. While the Department of Labor recently forecast that we could see nearly 12 million jobs added to the economy over the next decade, the labor landscape will experience a whirlwind that is expected to be very different from what it is. today, thanks to the creative destruction brought about by revolutionary technologies.

This turbulence will affect us all, but it will largely be driven by four key technologies affecting particular industries. By identifying the sectors of the economy that will feel the most impact, policymakers and business leaders must start to recognize and prepare for these changes, as well as consider what it means for their hand. -work, both in the present and in the future.

Digitization. There will be more jobs for IT people due to the growing boom in digital technologies in the economy, including growth in areas such as the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and teleservices. For example, with nearly 410,000 new jobs expected, software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers each rank in the top ten occupations with the highest projected employment growth; Information security analysts are also among the fastest growing jobs. The two professions – software developers and information security analysts – are well paid, with median annual salaries in 2020 of $ 110,140 and $ 103,590, respectively.

In addition, the automation of administrative and clerical tasks is expected to reduce nearly 530,000 clerical and administrative employees. Of the 30 occupations expected to experience the largest decline in employment, nine are jobs in this category of workers, including telephone operators, data manipulators, secretaries and administrative assistants.

E-commerce. The actual gross output of e-commerce has more than doubled over the past decade, from $ 314 billion in 2009 to $ 682 billion in 2019, and has continued to grow since the start of the pandemic. Partly because of the Moving away from brick and mortar, retail is expected to suffer the biggest job decline of any service industry, with more than 586,000 jobs lost this decade.

However, the increase in online shopping and the deliveries to homes and businesses that accompany them are expected to increase the demand for drivers by around 100,000, as well as nearly 250,000 for workers who carry by hand. goods, inventory and other materials. Logisticians could see nearly 30,000 new jobs as e-commerce makes logistics more dynamic, complex and crucial.

Big Data. Twenty years ago, growth prospects for math jobs such as mathematicians and statisticians were lukewarm at best, around 7% over a decade. But the number calculator job market has recovered with tens of thousands of new jobs expected, thanks to the quantification of human activity by the digital revolution and the analyzes needed to use it, as more and more more data is pouring in from all areas of society. and the global economy. Overall, mathematical sciences occupations are expected to grow by 28% over the next decade, with statisticians expected to be among the fastest growing occupations with a gain of 35%, and jobs for scientists. data and mathematical scientists increasing 31%.

Autonomous robots and systems. Annual industrial robot installations around the world have more than tripled over the past decade, from 120,000 in 2010 to over 380,000 in 2020, and bringing the global total number of robots operating in factories to more than 3 millions. Nationally, annual industrial robot installations in the United States have doubled during this period, with 30,000 new robot installations in 2020 for a total of over 310,000. Further growth is expected to boost installations globally to 500,000 units per year by 2024.

While manufacturing is expected to create more than 140,000 jobs over the decade, automation and robots are expected to reduce an estimated 39,000 jobs in production trades, including losses for a range of machine adjusters and tools, assemblers and operators. In contrast, industrial machine mechanics could see a 22% increase in manufacturing employment, adding 49,000 new jobs, as automation increases demand for these workers.

In manufacturing, most new jobs are expected to be reserved for highly skilled workers, such as managers, business and financial operations staff, and engineers. For example, manufacturing jobs for industrial engineers are expected to increase by nearly 31,000 as manufacturers increasingly need their expertise to stay competitive through the adoption of automation.

What is coming?

The distance between today’s emerging technologies and the futuristic reality of tomorrow is shrinking and, perhaps more importantly, foresight is shortening. For example, artificial intelligence – the cutting edge technology of the next half century – could disrupt jobs at all levels, from work tasks to the labor market, and impact jobs and occupations that, historically, have not been greatly affected by automation. A recent review of the literature identified potential professions exposed to AI, ranging from engineers, production quality control inspectors and accountants to optometrists, janitors and funeral directors. But the speed, scale and scope of AI’s impact on jobs remains uncertain.

To prepare for current and future disruptions, our recent “Competing in the Next Economy” report calls for increasing the rate of American innovation as well as the number and diversity of Americans engaged in innovation. To achieve this, we recommend approaches such as a complete overhaul – and, in some cases, the implementation – of innovation-focused curricula, as well as the realignment of federal development and training programs, state and local to enable a highly skilled and digitally competent workforce. .

One thing is for sure, as technological progress accelerates, we will see continued disruption from technology, creative destruction, and labor market rotation. Workers must be prepared to retool when demand for labor and skill needs change.

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