Jan 25, 2020

A surge in the "jobs of the future"

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Data: Cognizant; Chart: Axios Visuals

The last quarter of 2019 saw a big jump in demand for a bundle of jobs that could dominate the future, per an index tracked by the IT services firm Cognizant.

Why it matters: "The notion that there's gonna be a jobs apocalypse has been with us for the last decade, but the data shows that's not coming to pass," says Rob Brown, VP of Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work.

The backdrop: For over a year, Cognizant has been tracking U.S. hiring for 50 jobs that it deems forward-looking, with statistics going back to 2016 pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics via Burning Glass, a jobs database.

  • Cognizant's Jobs of the Future Index includes jobs in AI, transportation, health care, human resources and more.
  • That demand for these jobs of the future is growing faster than demand for all jobs is a bright spot in the ongoing discussion about how tech will upend the future of work. Yes, automation and AI will disrupt jobs, but they will — and already do — create a host of new occupations and wholly new industries.

But, but, but: There's still a dire lack of job training in the U.S. — a necessary step to prepare workers for the future of work.

  • All of Cognizant's jobs of the future — both high skill and low skill — are tech-infused, and companies will need to train and retrain employees to prepare them for these roles, says Brown.
  • "The road to the future of work runs right through HR," he says.

Go deeper: Browse the jobs of the future

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Work 2.0: The Evolving Social Contract

Attendees gather at the table for dinner and discussion in Davos. Photo: Dani Ammann for Axios

On Thursday evening, chief technology correspondent Ina Fried hosted an Expert Voices discussion in Davos, Switzerland. The group was tasked with exploring the changing nature of work — everything from employees' evolving expectations of their institutions, stakeholder capitalism, the rise of AI and technological job displacement.

Changing expectations

Fried asked the group about a work expectation that has gone away or changed substantially during their careers.

  • Mo Cowan, President of Global Government Affairs and Policy at GE, highlighted the shift from trust and belief in institutions; employees will challenge the institution now. "Our employees have not only found their voice but think up creative ways to amplify that voice."
  • Thomas Donilon, Chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute, shared a changed experience "If you had a job, you thought you can have a decent life. That's not the case for the largest cohort of Americans. When you chose a profession, you had every expectation that it would always exist — that has been upended."
  • Yvonne Sonsino, Partner at Mercer, said that retirement is probably a thing of the past, "Now we are looking at how to facilitate a longer, healthier working life."

Other attendees touched on flexibility at work and bringing one's full self to their job.

  • Rajesh Mirchandani, Chief Communications Officer at the United Nations Foundation, shared how technology has made his team more flexible — they understand they need to be responsive at any time.
"Another benefit is that we as managers learn that I don't need you in the office every day if you're getting your work done. And we need to do more of that. People have jobs and they have lives and they need to be able to do both."
  • Marne Levine, Vice President of Global Partnerships, Business and Corporate Development at Facebook, similarly noted "Work cultures are saying bring your whole self to work and tools are being created to bring out your whole self at work."
  • Michael Federle, CEO at Forbes, emphasized that his most effective team members work horizontally across the organization and are aware of the full organization rather than just the vertical they work in. The flattening of organizational hierarchies is allowing the best people to show themselves early on.
Jobs of the future

The discussion then focused on jobs of the future — what these jobs look like, how the workforce gets to that point, and how society is currently doing in providing that pathway after job displacement.

  • Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital, brought up two important points:
    • "What is the obligation of the disruptor to the disrupted? What is my obligation to those displaced — do I have any or is that just progress?"
    • "There will be a premium on human creativity. We are just scratching the surface of human creativity — AI will unleash a whole new generation full of solutions and ideas."
  • Olivia Lopez, Managing Director of Partnerships at The Rockefeller Foundation, highlighted the value of people that do the work that is not valued — teachers, health care and elderly care workers — noting these are the jobs that won't be replaced, the people jobs.
  • Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, emphasized the fact that new job systems are inaccessible for many people — people don't know where the starting point is to even become part of the new economy. "We've trained ourselves to act like systems leaders, we need to be people leaders."

Thank you Verizon for sponsoring this event.

Keep ReadingArrowJan 27, 2020

Election-year economy "everything Trump could hope for"

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chart: Axios Visuals

The big headline out of Friday's jobs report "was that employers added 225,000 jobs in January, comfortably more than analysts had expected," N.Y. Times senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin writes.

The big picture: Positive underlying trends drove the unemployment rate up to 3.6% from 3.5%, while the share of adults working or looking for work rose to 63.4% — the highest since mid-2013, the Times writes.

U.S. economy adds 225,000 jobs in January

Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, the government said on Friday, far above economists’ expectations of 161,000. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6% — just above last month's 50-year low of 3.5%

The big picture: The result showcased the continued resiliency of the labor market, and the strong numbers are sure to be seized on by President Trump as he plots his course to re-election following his acquittal in the Senate's impeachment trial.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 7, 2020 - Economy & Business