An apocryphal quote attributed to Charles Darwin observes that it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.
Regardless of what the ideas and constructs that have shaped and perpetuated our civilization would want us to believe, there is hardly an aspect of our modern life that is immune to or exempted from the laws of nature. At least (and hopefully at most) metaphorically, we are either running for food or running from being food often without being able to tell the difference.
Consequently, in an era of ever-increasing automation, digitization, and decarbonization, individuals and institutions more prepared to accept and embrace change would thrive in the intraspecific struggle for economic existence at the expense of their more inertial peers.
According to the Future of Jobs Report 2023 by the World Economic Forum, in the next five years, almost a quarter of jobs (23%) are expected to change through growth of 10.2% and a decline of 12.3%. Employers anticipate 69 million new jobs to be created and 83 million eliminated, amounting to a net decrease of 14 million jobs, or 2% of current employment.
According to Moody’s Chief Economist, Mark Zandi, the macro trends driving the change present challenges, such as the displacement of the majority of the existing workforce while demanding significant adaptations from the talent that is being retained and disrupting business by lowering entry barriers and switching costs to creating a level playing field.
However, on the flip side, he also highlights the enormous opportunity for improvements in productivity and efficiency, which would be instrumental in ensuring economic growth while managing a general demographic decline.
With specialization, digitization, and sustainability driving demand for talent and reshaping the global world of work at an unprecedented rate, white-collar generic and repetitive jobs are being automated away. At the same time, businesses can’t find enough specialists to design and implement artificial intelligence-led automation and blue-collar workers to take care of work that is yet to be automated.
Consequently, autonomous and electric vehicle specialists top the list of fastest-growing jobs in 2023. Close behind, AI and machine learning specialists could see only slightly less job growth, followed by environmental protection professionals.
Among the non-technological roles, heavy truck and bus drivers, vocational education teachers, and mechanics and machinery repairers look set to see around 2 million new jobs each between 2023-2027.
At the other end of the spectrum, roles like bank tellers, cashiers, and data-entry clerks would be rendered obsolete and, hence, are set to witness the fastest rate of decline in the next five years.
In the context of this fundamental shift, the following businesses which have opted to disrupt themselves and their respective industries rather than being disrupted appear best placed to keep attracting talent in the foreseeable future.
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) recently made headlines when its stock got its moonshot due to the widespread public interest in AI. Post its earnings release on May 24; the Santa Clara-based graphics chip maker has stolen the thunder by becoming the first semiconductor company to hit a valuation of $1 trillion.
NVDA’s A100 chips, which are powering LLMs like ChatGPT, have become indispensable for Silicon Valley tech giants. To put things into context, the supercomputer behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT needed 10,000 of Nvidia’s famous chips. With each chip costing $10,000, a single algorithm that’s fast becoming ubiquitous is powered by semiconductors worth $100 million.
During a commencement speech on May 26 at National Taiwan University, NVDA CEO Jensen Huang’s message to his potential recruits was loud and clear, “You are at the beginning, at the starting line, of AI. Run. Don’t walk.”
The global e-mobility pioneer’s automotive segment includes the design, development, manufacturing, sales, and leasing of electric vehicles as well as sales of automotive regulatory credits.
In the recent earnings call, TSLA’s maverick CEO Elon Musk signaled that the automaker will target larger volumes of sales versus higher margins but said he expects the company “over time will be able to generate significant profit through autonomy.”
The company recently scored a major victory as an infrastructure provider by striking a deal with two of its rival automotive manufacturers, Ford Motor Company (F) and General Motors Company (GM) , to grant their vehicles access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada starting early next year.
Moreover, since TSLA’s energy generation and storage segment includes the design, manufacture, installation, sales, and leasing of solar energy generation and energy storage products such as the Solar Roof and Powerwall, the stock could also be an energy transition play.
AGCO Corporation (AGCO) manufactures and distributes agricultural equipment and related replacement parts worldwide. The company provides telemetry-based fleet management tools, including remote monitoring and diagnostics, which help farmers improve uptime, machine and yield optimization, mixed fleet optimization, and decision support.
AGCO’s Precision Planting, Headsight, and Intelligent Ag Solutions brands provide retrofit solutions to upgrade farmers’ existing equipment to improve their planting, liquid application, and harvest operations.
On May 4, AGCO announced a capital improvement project, dubbed “Planter Accelerate,” scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year and continue through the first quarter of 2024. The project aims to increase production capacities for Massey Ferguson and Fendt Momentum planters at its Kansas facilities in Beloit and Cawker City.
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) is a designer, developer, manufacturer, and seller of solar ingots, wafers, cells, modules, and other solar power and battery storage products internationally. The company, headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, operates through two segments: Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI) Solar and Global Energy.
On June 15, marking its first foray in the United States, CSIQ announced establishing a solar PV module production facility in Mesquite, Texas, with an annual output of 5 GW, equivalent to approximately 20,000 high-power modules per day. This follows the company’s successful track record of production in Canada, China, Brazil, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The new facility, expected to commence production around the end of 2023, represents an investment of over $250 million and will create approximately 1,500 skilled jobs once fully ramped up.