McKinsey Global Institute

Preparing Brazil for the future of work: Jobs, technology, and skills

Automation is coming, disrupting the world of work at unprecedented speed and scale. Here’s how the largest economy in Latin America can face the challenge.

The world of work is facing unprecedented disruption, and, understandably, anxiety runs high. Unemployment and underemployment are rife, particularly among young people. Educational systems are not keeping pace with sweeping changes in the nature of jobs and the skills needed to fill them. There is increasing polarization of opportunities for low- and high-skilled individuals. Labor markets are inefficient, failing to match skills with available jobs.

A great wave of automation is underway that will raise productivity but also displace many tasks, necessitating reskilling and support to help individuals through the transition. The biggest question on the agenda is whether there will be enough jobs to employ everyone.

This briefing note aims to provide a fact base on the multiple trends and forces buffeting the world of work, drawing on recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute. It was prepared for the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in March 2018.