The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020: Key Findings


The World Economic Forum released the third edition of its Future of Jobs Report 2020 that maps the jobs and skills of the future. The analysis is based on surveys of business leaders and human resource strategists from around the world. Not surprisingly, this year, the report focuses on the effect of pandemic-related disruptions placed in the broader context of longer-term technology trends. 

Key findings

The workforce is automating faster than expected, displacing 85 million jobs in the next five years. Companies’ adoption of technology will transform tasks, jobs, and skills by 2025 – some 43% of businesses expect to reduce their workforce because of technology integration, 41% plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work, and 34% plan to expand their workforce as a result of technology integration. Five years from now, employers will divide work between humans and machines roughly equally.


The robot revolution will create 97 million new jobs. New roles will emerge in technology fields (such as artificial intelligence – AI) and in content creation careers (such as social media management and content writing). The emerging professions reflect the greater demand for green economy jobs; roles at the forefront of the data and AI economy; and new roles in engineering, cloud computing, and product development. The up-and-coming jobs highlight the continuing importance of human interaction in the new economy through roles in the care economy; in marketing, sales, and content production; and in roles that depend on the ability to work with different types of people from different backgrounds.

In 2025, analytical thinking, creativity, and flexibility will be among the most sought-after skills. Employers see critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving as growing in importance in the coming years. Newly emerging this year are skills in self-management, such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility. 

Some 84% of employers are set to rapidly digitalize work processes, including a significant expansion of remote working. Employers say there is the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely. At the same time, 78% of business leaders expect some negative impact on worker productivity, and many businesses are taking steps to help their employees adapt. That means that remote work is here to stay. 

More key findings and link to the full report.

(Summary by Saadia Zahidi,  managing director at the World Economic Forum and head of the Forum’s Center for the New Economy and Society)