There are about 75 million people in the United States today who are Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. They make up about one-third of the workforce. About 44 million of them are still working, but with the oldest Boomers now reaching 70, many of them will soon begin to retire.
Replacing all these workers is going to present a big challenge for employers. Companies are going to have to rely on a mix of younger workers from two other generations, along with immigrants, and new employment strategies, such as working remotely.
The group following the Boomers is Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980. There are about 53 million of them in the workforce today, not enough to make up the difference. In addition, other challenges facing this generation will reduce their numbers in the full-time workforce. They will have to care for children and elderly parents. To lure these workers and retain them, employers are going to have to offer them flexibility in their jobs and enable them to maintain a good work-life balance.
And more employers are doing this, increasing the time allowed for parental leave and vacations, allowing GenXers to telecommute, work part-time, giving them compressed work weeks, setting up job sharing and shift trading.
The other big group in the workforce now is the Millennials. These are people born between 1981 and 1997. There are about 75 million people in this group, and they comprise 53 million workers. However, because of their relative youth, this group will not be able to match the educational or work experience of the departing Boomers. For that reason, employers will need to focus on job training and development with the Millennials.
Another group that can help to fill the void created by the Boomer exodus is immigrants. What kind of impact they will have is more uncertain now, however, because of shifting immigration policy. But there are now about 26 million people in the workforce who are foreign-born.
Another strategy to fill the gap is using technology, allowing people to work remotely. This will enable companies to access people in other parts of the country, as well as those who prefer to work from home.
If your company is looking for qualified, reliable workers, Arrow Staffing can help. We are an established firm, with the experience and know-how to find qualified people for your business. Give us a call today.