MIAMI: There is reason to be optimistic about global job-creation efforts in the years ahead, business leaders and former ministers agreed during a panel discussion at the Future Investment Initiative’s Priority conference in Miami on Thursday.
Globally, 208 million people will be unemployed during 2023, according to UN agency the International Labour Organization. And as the working-age population increases, by 2035 an additional 470 million people will be looking for employment, the World Bank said recently.
Tyler Dickson, global co-head of banking, capital markets and advisory at Citi, said managing these numbers in the coming years will be a challenge, but he remained optimistic that sectors such as financial technology, artificial intelligence, energy transition and healthcare will be at the forefront of job creation.
Sven Otto Julius Littorin, a former employment minister from Sweden, agreed and added that it will be a matter of creating “good jobs,” rather than simply job creation for job creation’s sake.
“If we want to have an inclusive society, where people feel they are needed and part of building the future, we not only need to have jobs but we need to have good jobs, and jobs that are productive but also ‘meaningful’ jobs,” he said.
“Upskilling” and “reskilling” will be the driving force behind job creation, according to Gaston Taratuta, the CEO and founder of digital advertising company Aleph Group. He said that, moving forward, developing skills that are relevant as the global gross domestic product becomes increasingly digital-based will be key.
He added that in the future it will not be “what you know, but what you can do for me” that will set potential employees apart. People with skills in coding, cybersecurity, digital marketing and logistics will be the ones best serving the future global economy.
However, Josh Harris, executive vice-president of data analytics company Palantir Technologies, said jobs in traditional sectors will still be relevant in the future. He added that although employees will need to make themselves indispensable, employers will have to use technology to improve existing jobs rather than replace or make employees redundant.
Littorin agreed, saying that inclusive, lifelong learning and adapting to new technology will be important for the future workforce. Governments around the world have a key role to play in ensuring this is available for the entirety of their labor forces.
“Look at Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It has, in the last few years, liberated the female part of the workforce, basically doubling the size of that workforce, and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in (the Kingdom). It’s just amazing.”