New research also suggests automation may create jobs

Employers Anticipate Need for Upskilling Employees, Finding Qualified Local Workers - Talent IntelligenceBy 2022, employers expect the global workforce to undergo a number of significant changes — including increased use of automation in the workplace and modifications to companies’ geographical base of operations, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.

Employers also anticipate they’ll need to invest in retraining and upskilling employees in the next several years; more than half (54 percent) of the workforce may require significant additional instruction — up to six months for roughly 35 percent of workers and more than a year for 10 percent.

In addition to retraining and upskilling employees, companies say they’ll focus on obtaining skilled local talent, one of the most important factors affecting location decisions, according to the survey respondents, who also said labor costs would be a key concern.

Although some other reports have implied greater use of automation in the workplace could have a negative effect, the WEF survey suggests that may not be the case.

Although 75 million current positions could be displaced as a result, 133 million new roles may be created by 2022, according to WEF data. Businesses also anticipated expanding their use of contractors to perform task-specialized work.

For more on what other elements could be factors affecting location decisions companies make — and other global workforce changes employers anticipate — download a copy of WEF’s The Future of Jobs report.