What's Driving the Pending Labor Shortage?
Instead, factors in the tightening labor market include:
- The decline of the annual US birthrate increase to 1.1% during the 1990s (versus 2.6% during the "baby bust" of the 1970s)... meaning fewer new entrants into the workforce in 2010 and beyond.
- The increasing tendency of women to leave the workforce permanently to stay home and raise their children.
- College graduates who prefer to start their own businesses rather than apply for open positions at existing enterprises.
- The overall strong economy, which keeps the pool of available labor low and offsets any relief from immigrant labor and outsourcing.
Citing a RAND Corporation study, Herman believes that "[t]he annual growth rate of the nation's workforce is expected to slow to a nearly static 0.4 percent by 2010." Good news for job seekers, of course. But a challenge for an economy that looks to keep growing.