Innovation and digitization are shifting the demand of the economy toward more sophisticated jobs, while the demand for low-skilled occupations is decreasing in most countries of the world. This shift leads to higher wages and therefore increases the income of millions of workers; however, it also bears the risk of high unemployment and social inequality. High-skilled university graduates are sought after in many economies, while some less-educated workers might become dispensable.
However, the increased demand for highly skilled university graduates is not always matched with an equal increase in the share of the workforce with the necessary qualifications. This supply side is dependent on several factors such as demographics, which influences the number of young graduates as well as the number of skilled pensioners and the graduation rates.
Both sides influence each other and interact. Constant innovation is increasing the demand for workers with a higher education but might also lead to higher wages that increase the supply.
The increasing speed of technological developments and the resulting structural changes in all industries is affecting the demand for workers heavily. Studies estimate that in some countries, more than a third of the labor force needs to leave its current job until 2030. More and more workers with a higher education are needed in the coming decade. At the same time, millions of the desperately needed workers are going to retire in the next years. Millions are reaching the retirement age and fertility rates are low in nearly all western countries.
This report analyzes the demand and supply of labor. Major economies across the world experience a mismatch between demand and supply, others are aware of potential future problems.
With a special focus on workers with a university degree, this report examines the period until 2030 and potential mismatches in supply and demand from many world regions’ economies.
The changing workforce
The supply of university graduates
New graduates and skilled pensioners
The labor market for workers with higher education