Eduvation Blog

The Future of the Labour Market

Canada’s most trusted higher ed monitor and futurist, Ken Steele, sums up some apocalyptic projections for the future labour market, and the impact on student career anxiety. AUCCCD surveys have found rising levels of anxiety among college and university students, and these seem centred on career outcomes, fuelled by media hype about college being a poor investment. The movie “Divergent” epitomizes the prevailing mood among young adults: they feel they face an irrevocable, live-changing career decision and are anxious about parental acceptance and approval. Some economists project a recovering labour market in Canada, such as Rick Miner, who projects that the Canadian economy will be short about 4 million skilled workers by 2030. On the other hand, TD Economists see no evidence of a labour shortage in the foreseeable future. Youth employment has yet to recover since 2008, and new job creation has been in low-income fields. New future careers are projected to arise in fields like augmented reality, vertical farming, body parts manufacturing, nano medicine, memory augmentation surgery, bio-meat engineering, biohacking security and quarantine enforcement. But Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute has calculated that 40% of all jobs will be replaced with artificial intelligence by 2045, and a fascinating YouTube documentary, “Humans Need Not Apply,” illustrates the widening number of jobs being automated through robots or artificial intelligence software, like IBM’s Watson ( ). Our global economy is not ready for the impact of mass unemployment.

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