As more smartphones and media tablets enter the workplace, the world's mobile device-enabled worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015 -- that represents 37.2 percent of the total workforce.
According to the latest global market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), the most significant gains will be in the emerging economies of the Asia-Pacific region -- thanks in part to continued economic growth.
In contrast, the Americas will experience a slower growth rate due to a protracted economic recovery and high rates of unemployment.
"Despite recent market turmoil, mobility continues to be a critical part of the global workforce and we expect to see healthy growth in the number of mobile workers," said Stacy Crook, senior research analyst for IDC's Mobile Enterprise Research program.
IDC's forecast shows that the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from just over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015.
Key findings from the latest IDC study include:
The Americas region, which includes the United States, Canada, and Latin America, will see the number of mobile workers grow from 182.5 million in 2010 to 212.1 million in 2015. North America has the largest number of mobile workers in this region, with 75 percent of the workforce mobile in 2010.
Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) will see the largest increase in total number of mobile workers with 601.7 million mobile workers in 2010 and 838.7 million in 2015. Much of this is due to the sheer size of the population in China and India, combined with strong economic expansion in both countries.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the mobile workforce will see a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6 percent as it expands from 186.2 million in 2010 to 244.6 million mobile workers in 2015.
Japan will see a declining CAGR of 0.2 percent because of its declining population base. However, the share of mobile workers will reach a penetration rate of 64.8 percent of its workforce by 2015, for a total of 38.6 million mobile workers.