Back To Career News

2.6 Percent of Jobs Will Be Obsolete by 2020


Here’s another reason to go to college. Jobs for “unskilled” workers — in other words, folks without a secondary or college education — are in global decline. A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that 90 to 95 million workers won’t be needed by employers by the year 2020.

Medium-skill and high-skill workers, on the other hand, might be on the verge of a renaissance. The study predicts that employers will have 45 million more jobs than applicants for workers with secondary education and vocational training over the same time period. College graduates will also be in demand: McKinsey says we’ll need 38 to 40 million more workers than are currently available.

“The polarization of incomes between high- and low-skill workers could become even more pronounced, slowing the advance in national living standards, and increasing public-sector burdens and social tensions. In some advanced economies, less-skilled workers could very well grow up poorer than their parents, in real terms,” the study said.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The Institute advised developed countries to double the number of people receiving college and postgraduate degrees to help make up the shortfall — not an easy fix in a time when college is more expensive than ever.

Even that might not be enough. Even if policy makers take this advice, 20 to 23 million low-skilled workers are in danger of permanent joblessness, according to the report. Currently, 6 percent of workers across the globe are unemployed, according to the International Labour Office.

More From PayScale:

These Industries Have More Jobs Than Applicants

Does Your Resume Include These 10 No-Nos?

Crave Success? Don’t Start a Business With Your Friends


(Photo Credit: BiblioArchives/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
Jake Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Good article, thanks.


What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.