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Changes in the Global Labour Market

The global labour market has been modified significantly in recent years. The article highlights what factors have led to serious consequences such as job losses, emerging new occupations, the ways of working today, and the approximate picture of the future awaiting a labour force all over the world.

Higher Education and Labour Market’s Feedback

The development of information technologies leads to the automation of many jobs and the necessity of the introduction of new professions. Nowadays skills not occupations determine demand and supply in the labour market. And degrees more commonly are outdated by the time they are achieved. The Global Labour Market has become skills-oriented more than degree-based (Lu, 2019). Many university and college graduates are working in areas where a degree is not required (overeducation), and in which skills taught in college are not being completely used (overskilling) (Sloan, 2020). Modern labour markets progressively became international. In these specified circumstances, the demand for brand-new skills needed in the recruitment process and at the workplace increases. Being a competitive employee means possessing the skills and abilities currently relevant today for this particular employer. Nowadays these skills include knowledge of English or another foreign language, adaptability, creativity, involvement, emotional intelligence, multitasking, and the ability to work in multicultural teams. Also, it is expected that the candidate is able to work with large databases, learn the market, understand the political, economic, and business context of the job. The labour market today is unable to offer a sufficient quantity of jobs relevant for college and university graduates, which means that in the economic sense higher education is a wasted investment. The danger of the situation lies in the fact that young people have begun to realize they have not received the benefits expected (Sloan, 2020).

Figure 1: An illustration of higher education (Atoz Service plus, 2022).

The Impact of the Pandemic

The restriction imposed on people in all countries during the pandemic, social distancing, and lockdowns greatly influenced the global labour market. Employees' lives have been affected in many different ways, from job loss to shifting to remote work. Telework is the solution that supported market resilience throughout the coronavirus outbreak. In this regard, digital competence is more important, it can cover existing gaps, and help to restore the economy quickly. The consequences of the pandemic have been actually worse than predicted and the recovery is expected to be slow. Above one-sixth of the young population worldwide has been moved from their jobs because of COVID-19, at the same time others have seen a cut in their working hours. In addition, the sudden and unpredicted transition of many businesses to new online platforms has resulted in the digital divide in the countries. And the poorest countries with the worst internet connectivity have been left behind. The labour market changed dramatically since remote work has become a norm due to forced digitalization. New professions are emerging and substituting others, and as long as they turn digitized and based on the knowledge, the requested skills and competencies are also advanced. As a consequence, a set of new roles will benefit significantly, while others are losing relevance. At the time of the pandemic, as a large number of displaced workers with limited skills attempt to boost their livelihood, while employers strive to hire people with the proper skill sets, it is necessary for the governments of G20 to develop strategies for the global labour market (International Labour Organization, 2020).

Figure 2: An illustration of the COVID-19 virus (The University of Rochester, 2020).

The vast majority of people who were unemployed during the COVID-19 restrictions came back to their previous jobs in accordance with a study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute. The bankruptcies of corporations were not such a massive phenomenon. Demand for human resources in such areas as travel, leisure, and hospitality has dropped. Whilst the pandemic has created a need for new jobs, for instance contact tracers and Zoom trainers. Also, additional jobs for warehouse workers, couriers, and delivery drivers appeared as a result of the boom in online shopping. The United States has seen an increase in the number of startups. Recovery of the economy with a large number of startups is much easier than without as they are generally faster to expand (The Economist, 2021). As a consequence of global market digitalization, job-searcher websites for example Indeed or Monster are now more widely used. Thus it is much easier for employers to find workers and vice versa. An interesting fact is that people with lower educational levels now have more chances to find a job. In the post-pandemic times, a “hybrid” model of work has gained considerable popularity. The employees can choose wherether to work in an office or at home. Meanwhile, managers are forced to communicate better, improving personnel's job satisfaction (The Economist, 2021).

People spend a lot of time working, more than earlier, but they report becoming happier and quieter working at home. Over the past few years the working hours for less-educated people have gradually diminished due to the growth in their real wages. However, for more educated, working hours have increased. Researchers supposed that is because they really enjoy the job. According to the latest projections, it will take approximately two years before the world returns to pre-pandemic levels. Even though the unemployment rate will persist high in developing countries and in wealthier countries the labour market becomes extremely competitive (The Wall Street Journal, 2022).

The Influence of Artificial Intelligence

The development of digital technologies has brought many significant changes in the global labour market. Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into everyday lives generated new professions and businesses, this has changed human behavior, and affected the decision-making process. Although the invention of artificial intelligence and deep machine learning is an important factor in progress, but raises serious concerns because many workers may lose their jobs (Choamets, Chochia, 2020).

Furthermore, presumably, machines are more effective and cheaper to maintain than to pay wages. So, there is an assumption that human work is no longer required. AI has accomplished superhuman performance throughout wide-ranging, valuable, low-waged and high-waged tasks. Low-skill professions are most at risk with robots, middle-skill to software, and high-skill to artificial intelligence. In addition, artificial intelligence is more likely to affect highly-educated and older people. The issue is not only losing jobs because of developing technologies, but also the matter of new skills and abilities that potential candidates must have to get a job in new labour market conditions (Joamets, 2023).

Figure 3: An illustration of artificial intelligence's influence (Projectwale, 2023).

Business surveys conducted by researchers suggest that job loss is likely to occur in manufacturing and among office workers. And job growth is expected in sales and marketing. The implementation of AI can radically change the way we work, rearranging tasks of any given occupation. The acceptance of artificial intelligence may result in the appearance of new professions, which only humans can carry out. The study conducted by Wilson, Daugherty, and Morini-Bianzino (2017) highlighted three types of jobs that will appear as a result of AI implementation and will be performed only by humans: Trainers (will train AI systems reducing the error rate), Explainers (will interpret the outputs to improve answerability), and Sustainers (who will be monitoring AI systems to ensure they work properly). The following professions altogether may be required to verify that AI-enabled sentiment analysis tools are producing accurate results (Ultimate Software, 2018).

Acemoğlu and Restrepo (2020) in their study emphasized that the jobs created by AI will not be sufficient to substitute the jobs lost in every single industry that will cause imbalance and inequalities across sectors. Therefore, there is a necessity for the creation of new jobs related to the implementation of artificial intelligence.


The global labour market is experiencing great structural changes. Due to the development of artificial intelligence, the consequences of the pandemic, the obsolescence of many types of professions, and emerging of brand-new ones. The rise of unemployment, high competence, online business, and “hybrid” formats of work are also the outcomes of the events which occurred in the world over the past few years.

Digital technologies are advancing rapidly, being connected to global networks, and implemented in different areas, transforming the life and work of humans. The world has already changed and people have no other choice but to accept the reality. Preparing workers with the skills required to get a job today is a priority issue for governments of all countries today.

Bibliographical References

Acemoğlu, D. and P. Restrepo. (2018). Low-Skill and High-Skill Automation. Journal of Human Capital, Vol. 12/2, pp. 204–232. International Labour Organization (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on jobs and incomes in G20 economies. ILO-OECD paper prepared at the request of G20 Leaders. Joamets, K.; Chochia, A. (2020). Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Labour Relations in Estonia. Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, 20(2), pp. 255-277. Lu, J. (2019). Skills, not job titles are the new metrics for the labour market. World Economic Forum. Sloane, P., Mavromaras, K. (2020). Overeducation, skill mismatches, and labor market outcomes for college graduates. IZA World of Labor, 88. doi: 10.15185/izawol.88.v2 The Economist. (2021). Labour markets are working, but also changing. Special report. The Wall Street Journal (2022). Full recovery of the global labour market could take years. The Wall Street Journal. Ultimate Software (2018), Sentiment Analysis and The Future of Work, Ultimate Software Group Inc. Wilson, H, Daugherty, R., and Morini-Bianzino, N. (2017). The Jobs that Artificial Intelligence Will Create: A Global Study Finds Several New Categories of Human Jobs Emerging, Requiring Skills and Training that Will Take Many Companies by Surprise. MIT Sloan Management Review.

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Yuliia Sivitska

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