PwC presents the views of 32,500 workers on what comes next for the global labor force.
In one of the largest global surveys of workers, people revealed a mostly optimistic story, but one with some concerning undercurrents. Workers reported feeling excited or confident about the future. Most said they believe they can meet the challenges of automation—and they proved it during the pandemic: by learning new digital skills and by quickly adapting to remote work. Yet many people think their job is at risk, and half of all respondents feel they’ve missed out on career opportunities or training due to discrimination.
PwC is committed to highlighting the issues surrounding the digital divide and the societal and economic benefits of greater private-public collaboration on upskilling and reskilling. There’s a lot more to do to create more diverse, inclusive workplaces that allow everyone to give their best.
People are concerned about job security
- 60% are worried that automation is putting many jobs at risk.
- 48% believe traditional employment won’t be around in the future, and that we’ll sell our skills on a short-term basis to those who need them.
- 56% think few people will have stable, long-term employment in the future; this jumps to 81% in India.
- 61% feel that their government should act to protect jobs, with that feeling being more acute among 18-34 year-olds (66%) than those over 55 (51%).
- 39% think it’s likely that their job will be obsolete within five years.
Workers want to reskill
- 40% of workers successfully improved their digital skills during the pandemic.
- 77% are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain.
- 74% see training as a matter of personal responsibility.
- 80% are confident they can adapt to new technologies entering their workplace, with a large majority of people in India (69%) and in South Africa (66%) saying they are very confident, but only 5% in Japan say they are very confident.
- 46% of people with postgraduate degrees say their employer gives them opportunities to improve their digital skills, but just 28% of people with school-leaver qualifications say the same. Industries like retail or transport, which are most at risk of disruption, score just 25% and 20% respectively; banking scores 42%.
- Younger people are twice as likely as older people to get opportunities to improve skills, and people in cities are 1.5 times as likely as people in towns.
- 49% of respondents are focused on building entrepreneurial skills with an interest in setting up their own business, a trend most prominent in Saudi Arabia (82%), South Africa (82%), India (79%), and Qatar (79%).
Discrimination at work is holding people back
- 50% of workers say they’ve faced discrimination at work, which led to them missing out on career advancement or training.
- 22% were passed over because of their age — with younger workers just as likely as older people to be affected.
- 13% report missing out on opportunities as a result of ethnicity.
- 14% of workers have experienced discrimination on the grounds of gender, with women twice as likely to report gender discrimination as men.
- 13% report discrimination on the basis of social class or background.
Read the full report here.