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Data: McKinsey; Table: Axios Visuals

A new survey of hundreds of executives shows how the pandemic is altering the workforce of the future.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions of people out of work, and the jobs that will emerge from the carnage won't be the same. While some fields may benefit, others risk being left further behind.

What's happening: Consultants at McKinsey interviewed 800 executives around the world to understand how the pandemic is poised to change the shape of work over the long term. Among the findings:

  • 85% of respondents reported their businesses had somewhat or greatly accelerated the implementation of digitization, including videoconferencing and e-commerce. 35% reported accelerating the digitization of supply chains.
  • Nearly half of the respondents said they had accelerated the adoption of automation, with companies in the U.S. and India leading the way.
  • Few executives said they are planning on remaining fully remote after the pandemic, but many were planning a hybrid future where employees could work remotely part of the time.

What's next: As companies continue retooling for the remainder of the pandemic and the years beyond, workers in AI and automation are unsurprisingly poised to benefit.

  • But hygiene and workplace safety were the two areas where the largest proportion of executives reported hiring increases.
  • That includes less glamorous jobs in workplace management and elevator operations, in part because managing the flow and safety of workers in an increasingly hybrid environment will require new forms of expertise, says Susan Lund, a leader at McKinsey Global Institute and a co-author of the report.

The catch: Executives also reported many new jobs will be filled by freelancers and part-timers.

"Left unattended, COVID-19 has the potential to worsen inequality in labor market outcomes."
— Susan Lund, McKinsey Global Institute

Go deeper: Jobs of the future aren't exempt from the pandemic recession

Go deeper

Updated Dec 23, 2020 - Axios Events

Reskilling America: The path for post-pandemic job recovery

Learning new skills will be essential for many Americans who lost jobs as a result of COVID-19, since many of the jobs will not be returning. But not everyone can reskill the traditional way.

Why it’s important: To thrive in a rapidly changing job market, American workers will have to rethink their approach to skills and work.

As one expert at Google’s Powering Economic Opportunity: New Pathways to Job Recovery event put it: Job seekers must now be life-long learners.

At the event, policy makers, local government, nonprofit leaders and other experts talked about how they can pool resources and work together to better prepare American workers for today’s job market.

Their top three solutions:

  • Expand access to free or nearly free digital tools and training, like Grow with Google’s free digital training and resources.
  • Develop online courses and certificates — like Google Career Certificates — and a way to scale these offerings to communities that need it most to train a more equitable workforce
  • Encourage life-long learning and make reskilling resources more accessible to people.

According to Grow with Google VP Lisa Gevelber, “For years, Google has supported digital skilling programs and created pathways to help people secure good-paying jobs. Accessible job-training solutions will help people get hired into jobs that will be most relevant in the post-pandemic economy."

What this means: Companies are developing digital tools and programs that help people better understand the digital world, job skills training, and career certificates that job seekers can use to pursue in-demand, better-wage careers.

Oftentimes, these companies partner with governments, nonprofits and higher education institutions to help bridge the gap.

  • One example: Grow with Google offers digital tools and training to people looking to start new jobs or careers.

    Google’s online Career Certificates prepare people with no experience for jobs in high-growth, high-paying fields including IT Support, User Experience (UX) Design, and Data Analytics in 3-6 months with no degree required.

Key numbers: “We have over 400,000 people enrolled in these programs already, and a hundred employers across America who are hiring the certificate graduates. Top companies in retail, entertainment and finance, and, of course, Google,” Gevelber said.

Even more, Grow with Google has partnered with Jobs for the Future (JFF) to help bring these career certificates to over a hundred community colleges around the U.S.

The impact: Students across Illinois and Alabama “really see their job prospects increase after completing a certificate,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of Jobs of the Future.

  • One Ohio student who listed her certificate credentials online has received five times more searches per week and several interview invitations.

When asked how local governments can get involved, Flynn suggested “expanding access to high-quality, short-term credentials like the Google certificate.” This helps meet the urgent need to reskill workers as well as the longer-term needs for creating better quality jobs.”

The takeaway: Making certificates, and other alternative career pathways, more accessible opens up a world where it’s easier for people to reskill for a new career – or a lifetime.

What Google is saying:

“What we are seeing on a positive note is how resilient Americans are, and we're seeing them put technology to work.”

– Lisa Gevelber, Vice President, Grow with Google

Learn more.

14 mins ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker

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