Jobs of the Future: What Risks Will Employees Face?

Topics: Small Business

Summary: The labor market is changing, with new positions emerging and current job descriptions and skill sets transforming. In this article, we’ll look at these future jobs developing and what risks these employees may face – in a post COVID-19 world.

Data scientist. Social media assistant. Back-end developer. Water resource specialist. Medical transcriptionist. According to an in-depth study from the World Economic Forum in early 2020, these are the job titles we’ll see emerging and growing over the next several years.

The study reveals that over the next decade, not only will we see the creation of entirely new occupations, but existing professions will also undergo changes in their job descriptions and skill requirements. The labor market is being transformed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technological revolution changing how we live, work and relate to others. The World Economic Forum says it may also lead to the creation of 133 million new jobs from 2018 through 2022, in seven distinct occupational clusters:
  • Data and AI
  • Engineering
  • Cloud computing
  • People and culture
  • Product development
  • Marketing, sales and content

What does the Future of the Workforce Look Like?

future jobs and risks for workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its own employment projections for 2018 through 2028. Throughout that ten-year period, employment is projected to grow to 169.4 million jobs, representing an annual increase of .5%.

What industries and occupations will see the largest growth? Both the BLS and the World Economic Forum have some similar predictions:

The Healthcare Industry/Care Economy

Occupations like physical therapists, nurse practitioners, personal care aides, medical assistants and registered nurses are all expected to increase by 2028. The World Economic Forum’s study estimates that 37% of job openings will be in the care economy. At the same time, the BLS expects that home health aides and personal care aides positions combined will have more openings from growth than any other occupation.

Data and AI

Roles like “artificial intelligence specialist” and “data scientist” continue to emerge on both a large and small scale. Software developers, responsible for creating applications or systems that run on computers or other devices, are projected to increase by up to 42,000 jobs between 2018 and 2028, or 21%.

The Green Economy

Energy production and technology continue to evolve, leading to some of the fastest-growing professions in the coming years. The BLS reports that solar photovoltaic installers, who assemble, install and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures, have a job growth rate of 63%. Other emerging positions include methane or landfill gas generation systems technicians, wind turbine service technicians and green marketers.

Marketing and Sales

According to the World Economic Forum, social media assistants and content producers will play large roles in organizations of the future. These roles and others in marketing and sales, such as marketing specialists, customer success specialists and market research analysts, prove that human interaction will remain highly important in the new economy.

The Risks Facing the Employees of the Future

No matter what industry they’re in, all employees face some hazards as they navigate their daily duties. Future workers will be no exception to this. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic forever changed the way many workplaces operate, especially regarding cleaning and disinfecting methods. OSHA also created new guidelines designed to keep workers protected from COVID-19 exposure that could result in penalties if not followed.

For instance, healthcare workers are exposed to various risks, and according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), these employees experience the highest amount of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses of any employment sector. They face hazards like exposure to chemicals and narcotics, sharps injuries from needles or scalpels, violent patients, back injuries and more. Keeping these vital frontline employees safe, especially during a global pandemic, is essential for their overall health and wellness.

Energy workers in the green economy also face unique risks. The installation of solar panels on a roof, for example, brings physical risks like falling from heights, exposure to high temperatures or confinement in small spaces. Workers in the wind energy industry can be exposed to harmful chemicals and vapors, or dust and fumes, all of which can lead to health-related consequences like burns, dermatitis or liver and kidney damage.

What kind of hazards do occupations like data and AI or marketing and sales face? While these workers aren’t exposed to the same types of extreme physical hazards as those in the healthcare or green industries, they do face some unique risks. Data breaches caused by employee error can cost a company thousands, if not millions of dollars. Studies show that 47% of business leaders report errors like losing devices or documents have led to a breach in their organizations. Additionally, these workers often sit at their desks for long hours staring at computer screens, leading to ergonomic injuries or eye strain.

All organizations should create workplace safety programs designed to protect employees from the specific risks their duties entail. These programs not only keep workers safe from injuries and illnesses, but they can also increase employee loyalty and reduce workers’ compensation claim costs.

Protect Your Small Business, Now and in the Future, with AmTrust Financial

At AmTrust Financial, small business is our business. As one of the nation’s largest writers of small business insurance, we offer customized workers’ compensation coverage, commercial package, businessowners policy (BOP) and more. Contact us today for a quote.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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