Will you lose your job in SA in the next 5 years?

The World Economic Forum has released its Future of Jobs report, looking at the biggest industries across the world, and how their employment numbers will change over the next five years.

In determining the biggest industries, the WEF report tracked the employment fields of over one billion employed people in the group’s 15 focus countries.

This includes the USA, UK, China, Japan, Australia, Italy, France, some middle eastern nations, south Pacific countries, and South Africa.

By far the biggest industry in the world is farming, fishing and forestry, which employs over 264 million people across the countries assessed.

The second biggest industry, employing “only” 98.7 million people, is manufacturing and production, followed by the office and admin sector, employing 96.9 million.

The World’s Biggest Industries

# Industry Employees (‘000)
1 Farming, Fishing and Forestry 264 365
2 Manufacturing and Production 98 723
3 Office and Administrative 96 928
4 Hospitality and Food Related 89 613
5 Transportation and Logistics 79 619
6 Business and Financial Operations 70 282
7 Sales and Related 65 787
8 Personal Care and Service 55 266
9 Construction and Extraction 53 404
10 Management 42 838
11 Community, Social and Protective Services 38 727
12 Installation and Maintenance 26 887
13 Healthcare Practitioners and Technicians 18 799
14 Life, Physical, and Social sciences 15 663
15 Education and Training 14 659
16 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media 14 628
17 Computer and Mathematica 12 605
18 Architecture and Engineering 12 511
19 Legal 6 550

Looking at South Africa, the country is largely driven by sales and related jobs, followed by the transportation and logistics industry.

Biggest industries in South Africa

Status Industry Employees (‘000)
+ Sales and Related 1 609
Transportation and Logistics 1 562
Management 1 530
Office and Administrative 1 444
+ Manufacturing and Production 1 152
Construction and Extraction 896
Farming, Fishing and Forestry 705
Installation and Maintenance 652
= Business, Legal and Financial 485
= Computer, Mathematical and Science 259
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media 219
= Education and Training 186
Architecture and Engineering 137

+ growing | – declining | = stable

How the market will change

According to the WEF, from an industry-level perspective, there is a modestly positive outlook for employment across most sectors over the 2015–2020 period.

“However, underneath this aggregate outlook there is once again significant relative growth in some job families and significant relative decline in others, resulting from the accelerating pace of transformation within many industries.”

The employment outlook for South Africa remains negative, the WEF said.

The group detailed how the above industries are expected to change over the next 5 years.

Over the period, the world is expected to see a big drop off in office and admin jobs – with some 4.7 million jobs being lost.

Meanwhile, the biggest boost in jobs is expected to be seen in the business and financial sector.

Industry 2015 – 2020 Employee change (‘000)
Business and Financial Operations +492
Management +416
Computer and Mathematical +405
Architecture and Engineering +339
Sales and Related +303
Education and Training +66
Installation and Maintenance -40
Legal -109
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media -151
Construction and Extraction -497
Manufacturing and Production -1 609
Office and Administrative -4 759

In South Africa, the WEF projects the following changes over the next 5 years:

Sector Growth/Decline
Mobility +2.78%
Financial Services and Investors +1.25%
Professional Services -1.25%
Consumer -2.00%
Information and Communication Technology -3.75%
Basic and Infrastructure -3.79%

Needed skills

On a greater scale, the WEF’s survey showed that computer and mathematical job family – including data analysis and software and app developers – will experience very high growth.

This is not only in the field of ICT – but across a wide range of industries.

“In fact, employment growth for Computer and Mathematical roles is expected to be least pronounced in the Information and Communication Technology sector itself, hinting at the accelerated demand for data analysis skills and ICT literacy across, and uptake of these tools by, other industries,” the WEF said.

Two emerging job roles were identified by the group, which surveyed companies said were going to be vital in the coming years – namely data analysts, and specialised salespeople.

Other new specialties frequently mentioned include:

  • New types of human resources and organizational development specialists,
  • Engineering specialties such as materials, bio-chemicals, nanotech and robotics,
  • Regulatory and government relations specialists,
  • Geospatial information systems experts
  • and Commercial and industrial designers

More on jobs

The most and least stressful jobs in 2016

South Africa’s best and worst paying jobs – and the gap in between

Most in-demand jobs markets right now

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

Will you lose your job in SA in the next 5 years?