This week’s selection of TOP 5 news is dominated by job cuts in the financial sector, other jobs being created by 5G, and the question of how many employees work from their offices.
#1. Bank job cuts expected to top 60,000 globally in 2020
Bloomberg reports that job losses at banks this year are on course to be the deepest in half a decade. Putting the redundancies on hold during the pandemic, more than 30 lenders from Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa have now announced more than 63,000 job cuts. Banks in Europe account for the largest share of the cuts, with HSBC alone shedding 35,000 positions this year. This will have a detrimental impact on cities where the financial sector plays a key role. For instance, in London, the number of job vacancies in financial services dropped by 55% in July and a further 39% in August compared to last year.
#2. 5G will create 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the US over the next fifteen years
According to a new study by the Progressive Policy Institute, the application of 5G technology to manufacturing can create more than 300,000 jobs in the US over the next 15 years. As Michael Mandel of Forbes explains, “the benefit of 5G is that it allows much faster digitization,” and it will lead to cost savings and increased flexibility. However, the number of jobs created in the manufacturing industry will account for only a fraction of the total of 4.6 million jobs expected to emerge due to 5G in the next 15 years.
#3. Why skills – not degrees – will shape the future of work
The future of work will not be about college degrees; it will be about job skills. That’s according to this article published by The European Sting and the World Economic Forum. The author, Briony Harris, argues that in the future, due to the changing world of work, the right skills will be prized over academic qualifications alone. While degrees will remain useful, they are no longer a lifetime guarantor of knowledge necessary to succeed in the labour market. Instead, people will need to embrace continuous learning, and companies will need to change their mindset to prepare for this transition.
#4. ‘Nearly two-thirds’ of workers commuting again, says ONS
The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that 62% of adult workers reported travelling to work at the beginning of September. That is almost double compared to May when only 36% commuted to work. It is also the first time since the pandemic that the figures have reached 60%. The government has been encouraging workers to return to work amid fears that unless more staff were to return to their physical offices, many of the UK’s city centres could become “ghost towns.”
#5. America’s offices sit half-empty six months into the COVID-19 pandemic
In related news and across the Atlantic, it appears that most of America’s offices remain half-empty even six months onto the COVID-19 pandemic. According to this Wall Street Journal article, in late August, there were 51% fewer “unlocks” at the office (i.e. people entering the office) than in February. However, the picture is not uniform across the country, with some cities such as New York and San Francisco lagging behind other places such as Miami. With more and more workers opting for working remotely, it might take some time before we get to the pre-pandemic levels of the office use – if at all.