Edge-ucation / Market Commentary

What The Future Of Work Will Mean For The Labour Market

  • Edge Editorial Team

    At Edge Investments, we make investing in small cap stocks enjoyable and edge-ucational. We are here to teach you about investing, keep you up to date on news, and help connect you with companies that you may have a desire to invest in.

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A century ago, the typical occupation was likely that of a factory job or some form of manual labor. Working at steel mills, food processing plants, automobile factories, and related businesses required extensive use of your hands and body. 

If you can imagine, it wasn’t until 30 years ago in the 1990’s when the mobile phone started to gain popularity as a function for business. Even when the mobile phone was introduced, we didn’t go anywhere near them while we were working. 

To be honest, we could have never even predicted the capabilities of how mobile phones have developed into smartphones and the importance they have on our daily lives. 

Today, lots of jobs require the use of mobile devices. In fact, many people have jobs that exclusively involve the use of their smartphones such as a rideshare driver, social media influencer, and food deliverer. 

In 2021, the number of smartphone users in the world today is 6.378 billion, which translates to 80.76% of the world’s population owning a smartphone. 

The whole landscape of employment is in a continuous growth and development phase thanks to the help of such technological advancements like the smartphone.  

Not to mention, we haven’t touched on the 2020 pandemic, which propelled the work-from-home lifestyle into mass popularity. 

Let’s take a deep dive into what the employment space is looking like nowadays, and more importantly, where it’s headed.

Jobs of the Future 

The traditional economy of employment is not going anywhere. Even though there has been a substantial increase in work-from-home and freelancing, as the labor force is inherently adapting to technological advancements of the modern world, traditional jobs will continue to exist. 

Careers in areas such as agriculture played a huge role in the 1800s, although most jobs in our modern world are in the realms of sales, administration, and transportation. 

Today, there are several reported jobs that are among the fastest-growing areas of employment demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a healthy economy this coming decade, with a projected growth of 11.9 million jobs from 2020-2030.  

Renewable energy is a popular theme amongst some of the fastest occupation growers. Wind turbine service technicians and solar panel installers, although smaller numeric occupations, take up the 1st and 3rd place for fastestgrowing areas of employment, respectively. 

Nearly half of the fastest-growing jobs are in healthcare-related fields. This can potentially be attributed to chronic conditions on the rise as the baby boomer generation (70.68 million in the USA) starts to reach an older age.  

Over 1 million new jobs within the next decade will be created in the home health and personal care sectors. Although these types of jobs will make up almost 10% of new jobs created this decade, they are among the lowest paid from this list. 

The growth of the work-from-home lifestyle is affecting the economy in many ways, one of them being the increase of demand for the IT security and software development industry. This leads to increased growth for jobs requiring computer skills and extensive math calculations. 

*The data on this report does not include occupations that were acutely cyclical in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobs in the film industry, restaurant industry, and ticket processing for larger events, were among the few that were excluded. The list we have here is focused on long-term growth within the structure of the economy. 

The Jobs We Are Losing 

Within the nature of the economy and the ever-growing scope of human development, where jobs are created, jobs are lost. Many jobs are declining into the non-existent territory due to technological and economic advancements. 

40% of the jobs within this list of declining occupations fall under office and administrative support. This may pose a concern, as this category of jobs makes up a larger chunk of the labor force more than any other, landing at 13% in the U.S. 

Automationdriven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), tends to be a driving catalyst for the bulk of these declining jobs. Chatbots, automated support systems, and software that converts audio into texts are all examples of automation that have contributed to the decline of jobs within the office and admin field.  

Although many of these occupations are closer to the median annual average salary, one of them pays over US$100,000 per year. To our surprise, despite the hefty salary, nuclear power reactor operators are declining at a rate of –33% annually. Who would have thought? 

Since there have been no new nuclear power plant facilities since 1990, renewable energy sources are dominating the energy sector and leaving nuclear power plants in the dust.  

The Rise of the Freelancer 

Propelled in large by the pandemic, there has been a surge in self-employed contractors. Also known as ‘freelancers.’ 

Freelancers work for themselves, taking on different jobs based on their own skillsets and ability to self-market their services. While freelancers predominately work remotely, there are many industries where freelancers are required to be at physical office locations and job sites. 

Many companies are continuing to seek talented freelancers who are flexible, and this trend held up strongly during the latter half of 2020. 

The number of freelance workers in the U.S. jumped from just over 48 million to 59 million in the summer of 2020. That is an increase of over 22% or 11 million new self-employed contractors in the workforce. As the typical employment world spiraled into mayhem due to the consequences resulting from COVID-19, the freelance industry experienced a hefty spike in supply. As contracted employees had begun to work remotely, freelancers had the early-mover advantage when the world was forced to adapt to remote work. 

Did you know? As of 2020, the freelance sector has grown to generate US$1.2 trillion in income annually.  

We suspect freelancing as an occupation is going to stay for a while. Many professionals are realizing they can take advantage of a flexible lifestyle within the “gig-economy,” it was hard to fathom going back to spending 40 hours a week inside an office cubicle. 

A study conducted by global freelance platform Fiverr showed that 68% of remote workers showed interest in freelancing during the pandemic. 

This came as no surprise as the economy came to a grinding halt, millions of employees had to be let go of their full-time jobs. This led to people exploring ways to earn income, ideally from the comfort of their homes. The temporary gig economy provided many working professionals with the opportunity to test their scope of personal skill and value. 

With widely used online communication platforms such as Zoom ($ZM) and Slack ($WORK), most of the employment economy realized that with access to these modern communication tools, jobs can be done with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. 

Skills needed as a freelancer can easily be learned on the fly, with the plethora of online tools that exist to do so. Being in control of one’s own brand is not only liberating, but rather protected. Only you can control your brand and how you market yourself. 

The autonomy over one’s earnings has shown to be liberating for many people. Being in control of your input to output ratio when it comes to your time and skills traded for earnings makes it hard for people to go back to being part of a corporate workforce! 

Not to mention the market for freelancers is at full tilt… 

Stay up to date with our macroeconomic observation reports as well as our growing radar of small-cap stocks by joining our Discord! 

Until next time, 


  • Edge Editorial Team

    At Edge Investments, we make investing in small cap stocks enjoyable and edge-ucational. We are here to teach you about investing, keep you up to date on news, and help connect you with companies that you may have a desire to invest in.

    View all posts

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