Changing demographics will improve the job market for baby boomers, but slowly


When we interviewed Richard Johnson and Eugene Steuerle, economists at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., last April, we asked:  Is there any good news people who are 50+ and looking for jobs?

Johnson said:

“Going into the future, there will be a shortage of younger people.  Between 2008 and 2020, the number of adult Americans 25 to 54 is going to increase only two percent, so it’s basically flat over the next 10 years.  Over that same period, the number of Americans is going to increase 34 percent.  So we’re not going to have enough younger people to do the work.  But we are going to have a lot of older people, and I think that means that we are going to see a change in attitudes toward workers at older ages.”

The looming labor shortage is beginning to be recognized, and the issue was noted in yesterday’s NYT article Factory Jobs Return, but Employers Find Skills Shortage:

“Local leaders worry that the skills shortage now will be exacerbated once baby boomers start retiring. In Ohio, officials project that about 30 percent of the state’s manufacturing workers will be eligible for retirement by 2016.

‘The new worker of tomorrow is in about sixth grade,’ said John Gajewski, executive director of the advanced manufacturing, engineering and apprenticeship program at Cuyahoga Community College in downtown Cleveland. ‘And they need training to move into manufacturing.’”

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