What the Future of Work Will Mean for Jobs, Skills, And Wages

McKinsey Global Institute, December 2017

In this research report, McKinsey Global Institute examines automation and the “rich mosaic of potential shifts in occupations in the years ahead, with important implications for workforce skills and wages.” The report outlines possible changes in the workforce, including the need for retraining of mid-career employees, through 2030.

The full report is available for download but the webpage contains interactive graphics displaying forecast decline by occupation.

Download the report.

Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017

This report from the Committee on Information Technology, Automation, and the U.S. Workforce examines how “advances in fields such as artificial intelligence and robotics are making it increasingly possible for machines to perform not only physical but also cognitive tasks currently performed by humans.” While providing short term forecasts for the evolution of specific technologies, the committee encourages researchers to recognize the speed at which change is occurring and anticipate the socio-economic consequences.

Download the report.


National Science Board, 2018
This annual publication is a great source for statistics about trends in STEM education and the STEM-related and technical economy. The following links are particularly relevant to issues within the Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work project.

Associate’s Degrees in Technology Conferred per 1,000 Individuals 18–24 Years Old

This infographic shows regional and state-by-state differences in attainment of two-year technical degrees among those newly entering the workforce. Technology fields include science and engineering technologies but not medical technologies. The interactive map allows the viewer to compare associate’s degree awards for any year from 2000 – 2016.

Download this infographic.

Associate’s Degrees in Science and Engineering Conferred per 1,000 Individuals 18–24 Years Old

Infographic showing regional and state-by-state differences in attainment of two-year science and engineering degrees among those newly entering the workforce. Science and engineering fields include physical, life, earth, ocean, atmospheric, computer, and social sciences; mathematics, engineering, and psychology. They do not include medical fields. The interactive map allows the viewer to compare associate’s degree awards for any year from 2000 – 2016.

Download this infographic.

S&E Enterprise in a Global Context: Knowledge- and Technology-Intensive Economic Activity

This section provides graphs illustrating the global rise of knowledge-and-technology intensive industries and commercial knowledge-intensive services from 2003 – 2016. As explained in the report’s glossary, knowledge- and technology-intensive industries include:

  • service industries—financial, business, communications, education, and health care;
  • high-technology manufacturing industries—aerospace; pharmaceuticals; computers and office machinery; semiconductors and communications equipment; and measuring, medical, navigation, optical, and testing instruments; and
  • medium-high-technology industries—motor vehicles and parts, chemicals excluding pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery and appliances, machinery and equipment, and railroad and other transportation equipment.

Commercial knowledge-intensive services are generally privately owned and compete in the marketplace without public support. These services are business, information, and financial services.

Download this section.

Understanding the Digital Thread (video duration 2:38)

Deloitte Insights, 2017

The “digital thread” connects products from design, through production, testing, use, and maintenance and cycles back to other phases in the product development and lifespan as indicated by diagnostics. These digital connects require massive amount of data to be generated, stored, and shared.

Download the video.

Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Face of Digital Transformation and the Future of Work

OECD Report to G-20 Finance Ministers, 2018

With shifts toward automation of tasks but greater cognitive skills required, what policies are needed to ensure the success of the workers of the future? This report examines the growth and impact of disruptive technologies on future employment, productivity and incomes and the importance of global interconnectedness.

Download this report.

Putting Faces to the Jobs at Risk for Automation

OECD Report to G-20 Finance Ministers, 2018

Which workers are most at risk of losing their jobs due to greater automation? This policy brief provides a concise overview about the risks of job automation in OECD countries.

Download the brief.

The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training

Pew Research Center, 2017

Five themes emerge from this study which asked a non-random sample of internet and technology experts (1,408 responses) for their opinions on how education demands will change in response to the increasing use of robots, automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace.

Download the article.

The Blockchain Revolution, The Power of Positive Disruption (Podcast)

OECD On the Level podcast, 2018

Greg Medcraft, head of the OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, explains the fundamentals of block chain technology. In Part 1, Medcraft discusses how distributed ledger technology functions through a series of nodes with network protocols for verification of transactions and is the difference between a private permissioned network and a public open network. In Part 2, he describes the three current drivers of blockchain: financial services, supply chain, and government services.

Download the podcast Part 1
Download the podcast Part 2

Nine Technologies Transforming Industrial Production

Boston Consulting Group, 2018

This simple infographic illustrates the digital technologies driving Industry 4.0.

Download the infographic

Learning While Earning: The New Normal 2015

Center on Education and the Workforce, 2015

Anthony Carnevale, et. al., examine the demographics of working learners—both young (ages 16-29) and mature (ages 30+)—and cross references this against their employment and educational choices for a clearer picture of these students. Among the recommendations for policy benefiting all working learners is the implementation of competency-based education and non-credit models of earning credentials.

Download the report.