What will be the big changes?

Five million jobs will be affected by the pandemic until 2030: what will be the big changes?

The pandemic has accelerated major changes in consumer behavior and business models, which are having a direct effect on the future of work. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) new report, The future of work after COVID-19, examines the long-term impact of the pandemic on the future of work in eight countries that host COVID-19. Almost half of the global workforce, and they represent over 60% of global GDP (Spain, Germany, China, United States, France, India, Japan and United Kingdom).

The report shows that the pandemic has accelerated three major changes in consumer behavior and business models that will persist to varying degrees: the rise of telecommuting, the widespread adoption of e-commerce and virtual interactions, and the more rapid deployment of automation and artificial intelligence. (AI) technologies. These changes will force up to 25% more workers in the most advanced economies to look for a different job than they did before the pandemic.

In Spain, however, the impact is expected to be more moderate, 7%, which means reaching 5 million people affected by 2030 (up from 4.1 in our pre-covid estimate). Of these, 4.6 million are believed to be due to automation, an increase of more than 2% from the pre-COVID-19 scenario.

However, when analyzing the situation of teleworking, the potential of advanced economies is higher than that of Spain, given that between 20 and 25% of workers in its workforce could work remotely between three and five days a week, while only 18% of Spanish workers could do their work from home most of the time (three to five days a week), and 63% of the workforce could only telework, without losing in efficiency, less than one day per week.

Regarding electronic commerce, it grew in 2020 two to five times faster than before the pandemic in all countries; in Spain, the annual growth rate of e-commerce sales was multiplied by 4.7. While starting from a rather low level, it increased its share of total retail sales by several multiples. As a result, 300,000 workers will be displaced by e-commerce (for example, restaurant waiters and customer service staff), while at the same time, 300,000 more jobs in e-commerce will be created (for example, delivery service drivers and logistics warehouse workers).

“If you look at the evolution of occupations compared to the situation before the pandemic, a common trend can be observed in all countries, the decline in net job growth is concentrated in low and middle jobs. wages. Jobs, such as customer service and sales, hospitality and catering, while net job creation can mostly occur in high-paying jobs such as healthcare and STEM (science, technology, technology). », Underlines Alejandro Beltrn, president of McKinsey in Spain and Portugal. “Spain will have a 3.3 percentage point increase in high-income percentile jobs (500,000 jobs) and a 3.1 percentage-point decrease in those with an average percentile (700,000 jobs),” adds he does.

STEM jobs can grow rapidly in this context, in part thanks to the increasing use of digital tools and the automation spurred by the pandemic. These jobs could increase by 2.4 million more jobs in the eight countries compared to the pre-COVID-19 scenario; in Spain, this proportion of jobs increased by 0.9 percentage points. While these numbers may seem low, across all eight countries this change represents 17 million more jobs in STEM; a million of them in Spain. But, in order to access these more skilled jobs, such as STEM or health professions, workers in low- and middle-wage jobs will need to acquire new skills and specialties. In this sense, some workers will have to find jobs with wages much higher than their old wages and which require of them more social skills and greater specialization.

The peculiarities of the labor market in Spain

Spain has a large number of workers dedicated to restaurant services, retail, customer service and sales, given the importance of tourism in its economy, however, the composition of occupations may change d ‘by 2030, in the post-COVID-19 scenario. Spain could have an estimated change in the total proportion of jobs of 1.5 percentage points in the category of health assistants, technicians and carers (29% more jobs in this category, which means 29,000 jobs); as well as a 1 percentage point increase in health professionals (23% more jobs in this category, which translates into 57 thousand jobs); but suffer from a larger drop than the rest of the countries analyzed, by -1.6 percentage point, in restaurant-related jobs (-20% with a loss of 159 thousand jobs), as well as by -1.4 percentage point in the administrative support category (-13% with an additional loss of 27 thousand jobs).

In Europe, workers without a university degree, members of ethnic minority groups and women are more likely to have to change occupations after the pandemic. In France, Germany and Spain, the increase in professional transitions required due to accelerated trends in COVID-19 is 3.9 times greater for women than for men. Likewise, professional transitions affect young workers and those not born in the European Union more. Overall, the number of workers who might need to change occupations in France, Germany and Spain could increase by 15.2% on average across the workforce over the next year. decade due to trends influenced by COVID-19.

However, breaking down this data by demographic groups, we find that the impact is disproportionate. For example, 26.3% more women in France, Germany and Spain are likely to have to change professions, compared to only 6.7% more men in these countries. It is also possible that 20% more workers without higher education will have to change occupations in the post-COVID-19 scenario, compared to an 8% increase among workers with higher education; and, it is possible that 27% of older workers and between 20% and 50% more immigrants will have to change occupation; in Spain, 54% of low-income workers and 54% of working women will be displaced.

The pandemic will intensify the challenge of retraining and it will be the most vulnerable workers who will feel the effects the most. It is therefore more urgent for companies and policymakers to help these workers acquire the skills they will need most in the future.

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