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Jobs of tomorrow: the triple returns of social jobs in the economic recovery

Future of work Labour market disruption Social impact investing

For over half a decade, the World Economic Forum has modelled the impact of technologies on global labour markets to better understand the impact technological adoption has on jobs of yesterday and jobs of tomorrow. The Jobs of Tomorrow White Paper series examine proactive investments that yield a triple dividend – boosting economic activity, expanding employment opportunities and generating multiplier effects in the form of more inclusive economies and societies.

The series begins with this focus on social sector jobs, and serves as a call to action to lead an ambitious, coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach to initiate a new wave of investments into three foundational social institutions: education, healthcare and care.

Key findings:

  • The global economy is still recovering from the 2020 pandemic and faces an uncertain outlook while, globally, social inequality increases.
  • As policy-makers aim to balance crisis management with longer-term recovery priorities, a focus on three foundational social institutions – education, healthcare and care – that can benefit from key investments to re-start the engine of social mobility across economies, filling unmet demand for healthcare and childcare, as well as increasing the quality of education systems.
  • A highly uncertain and divergent global context requires a focus on the highest return investments for the future. Social jobs create resilience and boost social mobility, preparing workers for future shocks and preparing societies for a virtuous cycle of human capital development.
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