StrategyNote-issue15

THE FUTURE OF WORK | WORKFORCE TRANSITIONS, THE GIG ECONOMY, & AUTOMATION

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Kuwait: May 19, 2019

The digital revolution is transforming, or at least accelerating the transformation of, almost every aspect of our lives. Major economic sectors are being disrupted and this disruption is changing the way we work

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The future of work is being shaped by technological advances and automation. Cognitive technologies and robotics are playing an increasingly larger role in the production of goods and services and consequently threatening to displace human capital.
  • Along with automation, the gig economy is disrupting the way we have been traditionally viewing the employer-employee relationship for decades. Independent workers and freelancers are becoming a significant portion of the workforce; they constitute more than one third of the total in developed Europe and North America by some estimates and ignoring this tranche is increasingly distorting our view of the labor market.
  • Independent work could potentially have significant economic and social benefits to the wider economy by making labor more “efficient”; it would raise labor participation rate, provide work opportunities for the unemployed and the underemployed and boost productivity.
  • While workforce displacement has become a fact of life in today’s workplace, its full effects on the job market are quite difficult to assess. They will depend primarily on the pace of automation adoption across various economies, their future economic growth, and their demographic profile.

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