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Source: World Economic Forum

Chloé Laluc, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, chloe.laluc@weforum.org +41 79 580 7002

  • A new World Economic Forum/Ipsos global survey of more than 12,000 working adults in 27 countries finds that 54% are concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months.
  • The survey reveals wide variations between countries: three in four workers in Russia fear job losses, versus just one in four in Germany.
  • Two thirds of these workers say they can learn skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer: nearly nine in ten workers in Spain versus fewer than half in Japan, Sweden and Russia.
  • See more about the survey here. Follow the Jobs Reset Summit 2020 here.

Geneva, 19 October 2020 — In a new World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey of more than 12,000 working adults in 27 countries, more than half (54%) say they are concerned about losing their jobs in the next 12 months. Perceived job insecurity varies widely across countries: it is stated by three in four workers in Russia, compared to just one in four in Germany.

Two thirds of workers worldwide say they can learn skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer. Nearly nine in ten workers in Spain think they can gain essential new skills on the job, whereas fewer than half in Japan, Sweden and Russia.

Concern about job losses

On average, 54% of employed adults from 27 countries say they are concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months (17% are very concerned and 37% somewhat concerned). The prevalence of job-loss concern in the next year ranges from 75% in Russia, 73% in Spain, and 71% in Malaysia, to just 26% in Germany, 30% in Sweden, and 36% in the Netherlands and the United States.

Image: Ipsos

Ability to acquire new skills

Globally, 67% of employed adults surveyed say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer (23% are very much able to do so, 44% somewhat able). Across the 27 countries, perceived ability to learn and develop those skills on the job is most widespread in Spain (86%), Peru (84%), and Mexico (83%) and least common in Japan (45%), Sweden (46%), and Russia (48%).

Image: Ipsos

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum said, “The current crisis means that the job creation rate has gone significantly down compared to two years ago, but there is an optimistic scenario overall compared to the rate of job destruction. Of course, it depends on the choices we make today. It depends on the kinds of investments governments make today – and the investments workers make in terms of their own time. And it depends on the choices that business leaders make when it comes to retaining and protecting jobs versus shorter-term decisions that are more focused on quarterly results.”

New skill acquisition versus job insecurity

Globally, workers are more likely to say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer (67%) than to express concern about losing their job in the next 12 months (54%), a difference of 13 percentage points.

The countries where those who can gain new skills on the job outnumber those who are concerned about losing their job by the largest margins are the United States and Germany (by 40 points).

In reverse, job loss concern is more prevalent than perceived ability to acquire skills in Russia (by 28 points) and, to a lesser extent in Malaysia, Poland, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea.

Image: Ipsos

World Economic Forum Jobs Reset Summit

Job losses and the skills challenge are two of the issues that will be addressed at the forthcoming Jobs Reset Summit. The summit brings together more than 1200 visionary leaders from business, international organizations, government, civil society, media and the broader public to shape a new agenda for growth, jobs, skills and equity.

About the Study

These are the results of a 27-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

Ipsos interviewed a total of 12,430 employed adults aged 18-74 in United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 22 other countries between September 25 and October 9, 2020. Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t knows or not stated responses.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

Note to Editors

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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