Seems impossible now, but a leading economist says the U.S. could be facing a shortage of workers in less than a decade.
That’s right. Barry Bluestone, Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, predicts that within the next eight years there could be at least four million potential job vacancies in the United States — and nobody to fill them.
It could start earlier
And we could start to see things tighten much sooner than that. In his report, written for the MetLife Foundation and the Baby Boomer think tank Civic Ventures, Bluestein writes:
“When the nation comes out of the current recession — and this may take two or three years — we will begin to see spot shortages in labor markets. If the economy continues to improve, the spot shortages will become more general.”
The cause of these shortages? Baby Boomers exiting the workplace.
The report forecasts big job growth in what it terms the “social sector,” which includes
- health care
- non-profit and community organizations
- performing arts
- museums and libraries, and government.
The possibility of a future labor shortage was something of a hot topic several years ago. But then it became clear that Baby Boomers weren’t going to retire as early as other generations. And, of course, there’s the small matter of the current recession.
So what do you think? Are we looking at a severe labor shortage by the end of the decade?