Emerging themes

New jobs, old jobs, more jobs, fewer jobs


As highlighted throughout this report, the drivers of change are revolutionising the employment landscape including the what, where and how much of work.

The transformation of jobs through technology is particularly gathering pace (see technology). Jobs in sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture (which a century and a half ago employed well over half the workforce) now account for less than 10% and are declining. Today, and into the future, technological developments and increased productivity will create new jobs. But will there be enough to maintain existing employment levels, let alone increase them? (see emerging themes – labour market)

New jobs that were unknown just a few years ago include: data analyst; cyber-security specialist; geneticist; social media influencer; digital marketing executive; and fact checker. In contrast, the future looks bleaker for those in jobs such as: sales assistant; driver (taxi, lorry, courier); call centre operator; and many more. Even “knowledge” jobs are under threat nowadays with the advance of technology in the delivery of professional services. For example, there has been huge investment and rapid development of technology in financial services and the legal and medical sectors (Fintech, LegalTech and MedTech respectively).