The Surprising Labour Market Trends You Should Know About in 2023

March 9, 2023 by Mariana Marques

The labour market is ever-changing. Regardless of the sector you work in, you are likely to be familiar with some of the current workforce trends, and get to experience them first-hand. But which ones are here to stay? And how do they define the labour market as we know it?

Lightcast recently hosted a webinar based on the Global Talent Playbook we published earlier this year, which unpacks the global labour market trends to watch out for in 2023. In previous blogs, we have shared key data-driven talent strategies to adapt to these trends. In this blog, we go even deeper into understanding how trends relate to each other and what factors are influencing them. 

Hybrid vs. Remote: which work model wins?

Remote work is here to stay: we know this for a fact. It may not be at the same level as it was during the pandemic when employees had no option but to work from home, but it is still very much popular across the globe.

For our Global Talent Playbook report, we defined “remote” as any job posting that offered some level of remote work, including hybrid models. However, hybrid offers make up a much smaller proportion of job postings, so they aren’t really driving this trend - fully remote options are. Yet, what is interesting to explore is that employers may be more flexible than they seem to be based on their job postings. 

In job postings, employers commit to offering a type of work model upfront, so they may be more conservative with their requirements. It’s likely that hybrid offers are up for negotiation depending on the candidate and the circumstances. For instance, a New York-based company is hiring for a hybrid position, and their perfect candidate is based in San Francisco. It may be that the company changes its requirements for this candidate. 

In such a tight labour market, marked by severe labour and skills shortages, employers tend to be more open to candidates' preferences in order to attract top talent. Therefore, what is classified as “hybrid” in a job posting, may well become a fully remote position behind the scenes. 

AI goes global(-ish)

Everywhere you look, it’s all about Artificial Intelligence now. There’s a significant upwards trend in the demand for AI-related skills in job postings globally, which could be anything from machine learning to robotics or natural language processing. The high demand for AI skills doesn’t come solely from tech companies, despite the common assumption - most sectors have their own technology department nowadays, and therefore require AI-related skills too.  

Interestingly, while the US, the UK and Canada take the lead in AI skills demand, New Zealand stands out as having a considerably lower demand for AI. Generally, this may have to do with the fact that New Zealand is a small country, so the magnitude of this trend looks different, and it may take longer for it to ramp up. Despite coming last in the chart, the trend is still upward for New Zealand, which shows that AI skills really are increasingly popular across the globe. 

If this is not enough AI for you, and you want to dive deeper - we’ve got what you need. Our interactive UK dashboard, AI Skills, enables you to explore the diffusion and adoption of AI across different nations and counties in the UK, such as the growth/decline of AI job postings and AI occupations.

Skills have changed substantially 

The top 20 skills within a job have changed by 37% over the last 5 years. That’s a substantial amount, and it’s very much caused by other trends we have discussed in this article. For example, the proliferation of remote work has led to an increase in the demand for skills such as telecommuting and virtual collaboration. 

More general digital skills, such as Jira Align and Microsoft Power Platform, also go hand-in-hand with the rise of remote/mobile work. Every employee that works remotely, even if partially, is likely to work with different communication and project management software tools that improve collaboration for remote teams. 

Intrapreneurship wanted

When it comes to common skills, a new skill is emerging: Intrapreneurship. It may sound like a spelling mistake, but intrapreneurship means running your job as if you were running the company you work for. Taking ownership, having a strategic mindset, and really being more of a self-starter. 

Interestingly, this is also connected to the popularity of remote working, which pushes employees to take the initiative and work more independently, rather than relying on others to get tasks done. Other “initiative” skills, such as growth-mindedness and adaptive leadership, are also becoming increasingly popular. 

New jobs are (e)merging

Emerging roles align with the growth of specific sectors, such as sustainability and AI. For instance, a lot of the emerging job titles we see in job postings are green-related, such as Sustainability Consultant and Energy and Sustainability Manager. While we focused on US data to define the top emerging roles, these trends are shared across the globe. In fact, we are seeing a much higher percentage of job postings for green roles in European countries, with  Germany leading the way. 

And some roles are not just emerging, they are merging too. The definition of a hybrid role takes a new meaning - in this case, it’s not about where you work, but it’s about combining what would traditionally be two separate roles into one. For instance, Data Scientist Consultant roles combine the strategic consulting lenses with a more technical capacity. Understanding how these different roles are being consolidated is crucial not just for talent leaders but for education providers too. 

For talent leaders, upskilling and reskilling current employees is key in helping them make these transitions, whether to a new role in the company or even within the same role. For education providers, understanding what new skills are being sought-after, breaking big qualifications into all their constituent parts and reviewing curriculum will be strategic focus points. 

Need more labour market data?

If you want more information regarding 2023 global talent trends and how you can adapt, download our report or watch The 2023 Global Talent Playbook webinar. Lightcast also provides a free European Insights tool, which you can explore to find key labour market data for specific European countries. If you have a particular need or want to explore Lightcast data further, get in touch with our team and we can show you all of our different data solutions to solve your labour market challenges.