2023 Workforce Insights Wrapped
Your top genres are AI, remote work, and DEI
2023 turned out to be another exciting year in the labor market. To celebrate the end of the year, your favorite team of economists (us) has summarized our biggest topics and findings.
In 2023, AI underwent a remarkable transformation, marked with groundbreaking advancements in generative AI technology. These tools are gaining popularity in workplaces as they can significantly improve workers’ productivity. Revelio Labs' research showed that HR-related jobs outpaced other functions in adopting AI. This adoption, however, risks widening the gender opportunity gap. In fact, women are overrepresented in "supporting" roles like administrative assistants that have a higher share of tasks that can be replaced by AI, which puts them at a higher risk of being displaced by this technology shift.
Creating AI technologies requires a variety of skills and perspectives. First, it takes an incredible amount of data to train these models. Filipino freelancers are a major contributors to global data entry and labeling efforts. Second, developing AI requires highly skilled tech workers. Despite the tech slowdown in 2023, the demand for AI talent remains significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, with these roles offering 5.8% higher salaries relative to other tech roles. Finally, the development of responsible AI technology also requires AI ethics teams to monitor it and steer it in the right direction. As our workforce data showed, AI companies are lagging behind in this respect. This may change in 2024, as governments step in to regulate these new technologies, as the recent AI-regulation act approved by the European Union this month suggests.
2023 officially marked the conclusion of the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting reflection on one of its most transformative shifts – the dynamic between remote work and the subsequent return to the office. Following the surge in remote positions during the pandemic's onset, the share of remote job postings came down slightly in 2023, but remains elevated. Despite occasional inconveniences like prolonged online meetings, the allure of remote work remains strong. Our sentiment data showed that the absence of remote options is viewed as a notable drawback by workers. Also, in-person positions which are suitable for remote work face higher attrition.
Remote work remains a fertile ground for opportunities for both employees and companies alike. Our workforce data showed that remote work correlates with a higher proportion of female hires and fosters improved work-life balance for women. Additionally, companies embracing remote work gain access to untapped pools of international talent. In our collaboration with Lightcast, we showed that this strategic shift has been especially beneficial for firms headquartered in high-wage regions, expanding their talent base and realizing cost savings by engaging workers in low-wage regions.
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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Earlier this year, rounds of mass layoffs rippled across the economy. A major concern of these layoffs was their impact on diversity. These worries were well-placed: our workforce data showed that layoffs and attrition hit DEI roles at higher rates than other roles, losing some of the gains made in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing and subsequent protests. As a result, many companies saw a decline in the share of diverse hires, demonstrating the effectiveness of a functioning DEI team and strategy. We saw another example of this studying companies that sponsor the NYC pride parade. Our sentiment data showed that that DEI sentiment as well as satisfaction among LGBTQI+ employees of these companies vastly outperform that of other large companies that weren’t sponsors.
2023 was also an interesting year for women in the workforce. Four states introduced pay transparency laws in 2023, bringing the total number of states with mandatory pay information in job postings up to 8. Revelio Labs found that pay transparency helps to bring more women into higher seniority positions. Other news were less encouraging, such as the trend that the share of women in STEM majors has plummeted, after years of progress.
Happy New Year!