Evidence of the AGING WORKFORCE … They’re going to NEED US!
This pie chart, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, represents the growing percentage of the U.S. Labor Force in the over 55 age range, growing from 13%, in 2000, to 19% in 2010, and a projected 24% in 2050. During that same period, the youngest worker group, age 16 -24, declines from 16%, to 14%, to 12%.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED.
Throughout most of history, in the U.S. and elsewhere, few people lived and worked beyond age 55. Now, because there are so many Baby Boomers and, despite any aches and pains we might have, most of us will be able to work well into our 70s, or more, and will live into our 80s and beyond. Meanwhile, the birth dearth that followed the Baby Boom resulted in a smaller population of Generation X, born after the Boom, followed by a surge of births of those known as Generation Y, or Millennials – because these young people are the first to come of age in the new millennium. Now, again, births are in decline and therefore that youngest age group of workers, age 16 – 24, proves to be consistently shrinking, while the older group grows.
These are America’s numbers. In Europe and Asia – the problem is much more severe. The U.S. birth rate at the height of the baby boom was 3.7 children born per woman. In the 2006 groundbreaking book The Workforce Crisis, authors Ken Dychtwald, Tamara J. Erickson, and Robert Morison listed the U.S. birthrate at 2.0, a bit below the replacement rate of 2.1. But in Germany, also in 2006, the rate was !.3, in Japan it was 1.4, and in Italy only 1.2.
What does this mean? The global workforce is shrinking, some countries are losing 40% of their workforce. This impacts EVERYTHING…including the global GNP.
The world needs older workers who are willing to work, more every year. When Baby Boomers eventually die off, Gen Xers will be the much-needed older workers.
Not everyone realizes this yet, and not every system is in place to facilitate this workforce shift…so we’ve got some work to do in order to get back to work.