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Trend Monitoring: Employment of the future

Globalization, digitization, demographic change, and migration are leading to a more dynamic labor market and a structural change in the organization of work and social security. We monitor the effects of these trends in order to develop concepts for this structural change. 

Driven by the megatrends of globalisation, digitisation, demographic change, migration and changing values, employment, the world of employment and labour markets are undergoing fundamental change. The forecasts for the future as discussed within society range from a bleak picture of the end of work to the euphoric greeting of the newly emerging opportunities.  

While it is still controversial how many jobs will be fully automated, there is no doubt that task profiles within existing professions will change significantly. At present there is disagreement about the degree to which employment will change and what changes are desirable and technically feasible. 

Various proposals for designing and financing social security systems are discussed, taking possible job losses and changing work models into account. Some are closely linked to alternative economic models. Therefore, it may not only be primarily employment, which will change, but also our social system as such. This could result in a new understanding of work and productivity that requires far-reaching reforms in the education and training system, too.

Always in tune with the times 

In order to be able to develop sustainable solutions for the structural change of work and social security in the long term and thus to proactively shape the future of work with regard to decent, socially secure work and economic momentum, continuous monitoring of the effects of these megatrends is necessary.  

A fundamental loss of importance of traditional labor in our market economy, as predicted in some scenarios, would have far-reaching economic and social consequences. Depending on the degree of change in employment, it may therefore be necessary to design completely new system solutions. 

In cooperation with other Bertelsmann Stiftung programs, we want to monitor future trends in studies and surveys in order to generate the basic knowledge we need for our project work. In regular dialogues, we will also discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future of work with stakeholders and future thinkers. 

Main questions 

  • What (desirable) changes in the world of work are we facing? 
  • How will social security systems be designed and financed in the future? 
  • Sharing and repair economy – are we heading toward a social system beyond the labor and consumer society? 
  • Are we facing a reassessment of the concept of work and productivity? 

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