The $2.7 Trillion Opportunity of Connecting Talent with Opportunity in the Digital Age

June 4, 2015

By 2025, online talent platforms could boost global GDP by $2.7 trillion annually, according to a report released this week by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). The impact is even more tangible and personal to the 540 million individuals who could use these platforms to connect with better opportunities and more rewarding work. MGI defines “online talent platforms” as marketplaces and tools that can connect individuals to the right work opportunities.

Online Talent Platforms 2.7 trillion infographic

LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. When we started the company, we began with a network of people. Over the years, we have added additional components: companies, jobs, schools, skills, and professionally relevant knowledge. These components make up a graph that encompasses far more than people; it’s the Economic Graph, a digital map of the global economy. We want to empower people to take advantage of the information and connections within the Economic Graph to find a job, earn a living, acquire new skills, make great decisions, and ultimately enhance their economic opportunities.

We know the Economic Graph has the potential to be enormously valuable to local economies and companies. In the past year alone, we utilized the Economic Graph data in collaboration with the White House’s TechHire initiative and New York City’s Tech Talent Pipeline program to help them strategically allocate resources to bolster the workforce. Through the LinkedIn Economic Graph Challenge we’re working with top researchers from across the country to empower them to apply LinkedIn data to solving some of the most complex issue of our time, from gender inequality to the skills gap.

As we continue to scale, the Economic Graph will provide increasing value to individual members. Through our acquisition of Bright, we were able to increase the number of job opportunities by 10x to 3.5 million. And just a few weeks ago, we announced our acquisition of lynda.com, which will allow members to acquire the skills they need to advance in their careers.

The numbers MGI unveiled today are so motivating because it helps quantify the potential impact of the Economic Graph and platforms like it. As MGI shows, sites like LinkedIn will allow for faster, better job matching; smarter labor and educational policy making; more efficient hiring and talent assessment practices at companies large and small; and economic improvement in both established and emerging countries. But there’s still work to do to make this vision a reality.

As we continue to scale the Economic Graph to help achieve our vision, it’s motivating to see the impact that online talent platforms can have on individuals, on companies and on the global economy. We look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of the Economic Graph, and to hearing what you think.

A Labor Market That Works: Connecting Talent with Opportunity in the Digital Age is an independently authored McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report that draws on insights and data from LinkedIn. In addition, this project benefited from input and data provided by other industry and academic researchers.

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