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A business meeting in 1964. Photo: McKeown/Daily Express/Hulton via Getty Images

Some experts warn of an impending automation-fueled upending of work, and they argue that non-technical skills will become increasingly valuable as rote tasks are handed over to computers and robots.

What's happening: Automation is roiling jobs, but in a way that is redefining the skills in demand. The top five skills companies now seek, according to a LinkedIn analysis, are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and time management. Their popularity outstripped more than two dozen hard skills.

Why it matters: These are skills on which humans still have a monopoly — they're far beyond the reach of even the most advanced AI systems. (Granted, they'd be useful even if robots weren't on the horizon.)

Trawling its vast database of profiles and job postings, LinkedIn says these skills are in high demand relative to supply. People who list them on their profiles go on to be hired into a wide variety of jobs, LinkedIn tells Axios:

  • People who count "creativity" as a skill are mostly hired as marketing specialists, graphic designers, teachers and project managers.
  • People who describe themselves as "adaptable" were hired as teachers and project managers, too — plus customer service representatives and nurses.
  • Oral communication skills are in highest demand relative to supply, LinkedIn reports.

Hard skills, however, have not gone out of style.

  • Employers also want expertise in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and user-experience design, as well as good managers and analytical thinkers.

"Soft skills are in hot demand because talents such as creativity and collaboration are vital for the digital economy," says Darrell West, director of Brookings' Center for Technology Innovation. One example, says West:

"Software designers need people who can translate their work and make devices easy to use by non-specialists. That means teams of technical and non-technical people who can work well together. One without the other will mean devices that are too complicated to use."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.