Skip to comments.Are you ready for future labor shortages?
Posted on 06/11/2008 12:15:42 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
People are getting old. Not just in the U.S., but all over the world.
The elder population, 65 and older, is the largest growing sector in all developed countries. According to Census Bureau projections, the U.S. elderly population will more than double between now and the year 2050, to 80 million.
As far back as 1960, the American economy has benefited from the huge bubble of baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, as a primary source of labor. However, starting around 2010, an enormous demographic shift will begin, resulting in a large increase in the 65 and over age group and a decline in the 20-64 age group. This means starting in 2010 the labor force will begin growing at the same or a slower rate than the overall population.
These changes will result in labor shortages in all areas for employers. Even if baby boomers keep working past the age of 66, eventually their participation rates will decrease, affecting labor force growth.
A second and less obvious force is the participation of women which has augmented the labor force with steady increases for the past few decades. This participation rate has leveled off, however, and will also decrease in the coming years.
According to the Census Bureau, 43 percent of the U.S. civilian labor force will be eligible to retire in the next 11 years. Yet, according to a recent survey by Manpower, 80 percent of American companies have no recruitment strategy and 72 percent have no retention plans. After consulting with dozens of companies, it is clear that many have simply put their heads in the sand hoping the forecasters are wrong.
Organizations need to investigate their own workforces demographics and develop an understanding of the immediacy of the baby boom exit. To help you think through strategies for your company, ask the following questions:
What are your companys demographics? Examine the age, gender, and years in position and anniversary dates of all employees. Exactly what talent will be needed 10 years from now?
What are your companys retirement policies? Is early retirement encouraged or discouraged? Are their opportunities for part-time employment after retirement age?
What programs do you have in place now to capture key competencies and critical work knowledge of employees who will be retiring? Is there a mentor program to develop employees?
What is the gender breakdown? What programs are in place to correct gender imbalances? Are there programs that address the needs of women in the workforce? Though women make up about 48 percent of the workforce, many employers still have rigid schedules and expectations that are remnants of an all male workforce.
Will your organization need to address global concerns due to off shoring or immigrant labor? As the aging trend is worldwide, there will be labor shortages for all skilled positions. The demand will be especially acute in the areas of skilled trades, technology and healthcare.
Is your organization prepared to meet the needs of the over-65 customer segment? Smart employers are preparing for this large customer base with specialized programs and services. The boomers have discretionary money and the time to spend it.
There are four key recruitment and retention strategies that every business must consider to prepare for the future.
Have a plan to address retiring boomers. Dont let critical knowledge and experience walk out the door. Have them mentor employees and participate in training efforts.
Offer choice, flexibility and responsiveness to todays lifestyles. Research by Sales Power of more than 3,000 companies demonstrates that younger employees gravitate to firms who can define a career path, not just a job. They will seek jobs that have meaning for them personally often choosing employment based on recommendations of their peers.
Utilize the Internet and technology to reach the Gen X and Gen Y employees. Corporate websites should include podcasts to interact with potential candidates. Online applications need to be addressed promptly; ideally within 24 hours. All applicants should be contacted personally by phone to establish a connection.
Mentor, develop and train to grow your own. Everyone will be trying to recruit the best of the best in the coming years. Build the employee loyalty at your company by investing in training and development. Every company needs a Leadership Development Program that is personalized and customized for the employee base.
Companies who make investments in people talent will be rewarded with a solid employee base for the future. The goal is not to just have great employees but the best talent available.
With all the millions who have been murdered through abortion is it any wonder?
No problem. The only boomers who will be able to retire are those employed by the government. We’ll just keep working, so there won’t be any labor shortages until we die. After that, who cares?
With fewer people comes fewer labor demands.
As long as I have a steady stream of illegal labor at cheap rates I’ll be fine.
I have my own business. I don’t plan on retiring at any set age. I’ve got it figured that I can start slowing down around age 60. How long I keep the shingle out will depend on my mental and physical health, but I don’t plan on completely retiring until such time as I feel unable to work. I believe in being productive.
Labor shortages are not a problem unless you have people who expect to rely upon non-existent workers to subsidize their lifestyles.
Yeah but wouldn't you want to change careers and find a part-time job that you'll actually enjoy?
Well, if there are labor shortages, wages will rise, and this in turn may cause some boomers to keep working longer.
I’ve heard that a number of job categories, such as teachers, nurses, college professors among them, are going to experience shortages because of anticipated baby boomer retirements. I’m sure it will be a challenge to replace retirees.
Assuming that there’s some truth to this, our government could help the situation greatly if they would stop paying people to NOT work - food stamps, earned income credit, homeless shelters, and other forms of welfare. Only the 10-15% that are truly needy deserve such help.
I am in 100% agreement with your underlying point, but I can't resist a semantic nitpick.
I wouldn't say that the truly needy deserve help. There's no merit in being needy. If they are truly needy, I don't object to them being helped, even at taxpayers expense. But they certainly didn't earn (that is, come to deserve) help by being needy.
No thanks! I want a fleet of robot servants. With HAL running the staff what could go wrong?
Sad but true.
I fear you are right. I fully expect the Democrats to impose an assets based means test Social Security at some point. Standard IRAs and 401k's (criticized by Barack Obama via his criticism of the concept of an "ownership society", and criticized by Obama's adviser Fr. Pfleger) would be considered "assets". Union and Government pension plans, and Government defined contribution plans (i.e., TSP), and Roth IRAs would not.
To means testing add the removal of the Social Security wage cap and you succeed in turning Social Security into a wealth transfer system. Not what FDR envisioned, but what leftists have desired for the last 40 years.
I have no evidence of such a plan, but it seems the logical conclusion of a leftist political party which uses class-envy as a tool to promote itself.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
If oil is any indicator of how this should play out, my pay should quadruple within 5-7 years.
HA! I'm not holding my breath.
I suppose that I used the word "needy" improperly, or I should have chosen other words to make my point. I am referring to the 10-15% of those gaining government assistance that are physically unable to provide for themselves. My premise is that they don't deserve to die. I agree that it isn't an 'earned' position.
Haha even if your pay raises that much, the value of the dollar will be destroyed through inflation.
Don’t worry - we can copy Europe. Bring in lots of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East.
“ What is the gender breakdown? What programs are in place to correct gender imbalances? Are there programs that address the needs of women in the workforce? Though women make up about 48 percent of the workforce, many employers still have rigid schedules and expectations that are remnants of an all male workforce.”
This is a stupid, stupid suggestion — and I can’t wait for the Generation Whiner who stands up before Mr. Justice Jones and whines, “Your Honour, I simply could NOT get the defence ready for the trial today; Bambi had a temperature, the baby wouldn’t do her BM, and the babysitter was late! Could we, like, reschedule this for, um, let me check my Blackberry...gee, I’m booked up with playdates and hockey games til, like April, man! Couldn’t we, like, do this some OTHER time, Your Honour?”
Not to mention the 911 call that comes in for a dying accident victim, only to reach a dispatcher who says “Like, the girls that drive for us are all gone, man, they hadda pick up their kids at the daycare! You know what they charge if you’re like even one minute late, man? Could you like call a taxi, man?” (You can fill in “f***ing” before every noun, yourself.)
There are some jobs in which the firm for which you are working does not have any control over the hours and days you will work. The sooner Generation Whine gets this through its iPod-deafened skull, the happier we all will be.
P.S. The male version of the above will be “I’m like just not inta f***in’ work today, man! Hey, chill, maaaaan! Them f***ing judges just gotta CHILLLLLLLL!”
I think we’re on the same page. Like I said, it was merely a semantic nitpick. I am prone to those sometimes...I may eventually join a twelve-steps group to help me quit. :)
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