| - For Immediate Release -
March 22, 2010
For more information, contact:
Elysha Rom-Povolo, 415-901-0111, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading Economist Forecasts More Jobs
Than Workers in Coming Years
Projects Significant Labor Shortages by 2018;
Workers Over 55 Will Be Key to Closing the Gap
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As surprising as it sounds in the current employment
market, a renowned labor economist projects that there will be more jobs than
people to fill them in the United States by 2018.
Assuming a return to healthy economic growth and no change in immigration
or labor force participation rates, 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 5 million potential job vacancies
in the United States, nearly half of them (2.4 million) in social sector jobs
in education, health care, government and nonprofit organizations. The loss
in total output could limit the growth of needed services and cost the economy
as much as $3 trillion over the five-year period beginning in 2018.
“If the baby boom generation retires from the labor force at the same
rate and age as current older workers, the baby bust generation that follows
will likely be too small to fill many of the projected new jobs,” states
Bluestone’s report, After the Recovery: Help Needed – The
Coming Labor Shortage and How People in Encore Careers Can Help Solve It.
Bluestone’s research is one of four papers written by independent experts
and released today by MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures, a think tank on
boomers, work and social purpose.
All four papers, which can be found at www.encore.org/research,
assert that engaging workers over 55 in encore careers will be vital to meeting
work force shortages and critical social needs. In addition to the Bluestone
research, the three companion papers, written by experts in their fields, examine
how creative approaches to staffing can help meet pressing problems in education,
health care and the green economy, now and in the future.
Bluestone’s analysis builds on the 2008 MetLife Foundation/Civic
Ventures Encore Career Survey conducted by Peter D. Hart and Associates,
which shows that most people expect to work longer than previous generations,
but that half of those aged 44 to 70 want encore careers that combine personal
meaning, continued income and social impact. “Not only will there be
jobs for these experienced workers to fill,” Bluestone writes, “but
the nation will absolutely need older workers to step up and take them.”
Bluestone’s paper – co-authored by Mark Melnik, Deputy Director
for Research at the Boston Redevelopment Authority – is based on official
forecasts of population growth from the U.S. Census Bureau; forecasts of job
growth and labor force participation from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics;
and estimates of the number of jobs in specific occupations based on the Labor
Market Assessment Tool developed by the Dukakis Center and the Boston Redevelopment
The research identifies 15 jobs that will provide the largest number of potential
new encore career opportunities in the coming decade. The list is dominated
by seven job categories in health care (registered nurses; home health
aides; personal and home care aides; nursing aides, orderlies and attendants;
medical assistants; licensed practical and vocational nurses; and medical and
health service managers); three in education (teachers, teacher assistants
and child care workers); others in nonprofits and government (business operations
specialists; general and operations managers; and receptionists and information
clerks); plus clergy and social and human service assistants.
The three papers suggest that those over 55 have the skills and experience
to help solve serious problems and to bridge critical labor gaps in education,
health care and the green economy.
In How Boomers Can Help Improve Health Care: Emerging Encore Career
Opportunities in Health Care, Partners in Care Foundation
outlines new approaches to care and staffing that can help people stay
healthier and lower costs. Their research identifies six emerging jobs
for experienced workers that have the potential to improve health outcomes:
community health workers; chronic illness coaches; medications coaches;
patient advocates; home- and community-based service navigators/advocates;
and home modification specialists.
In How Boomers Can Contribute to Student Success: Emerging Encore
Career Opportunities in K-12 Education, the National Commission
on Teaching and America’s Future details how new, team-based approaches
to school staffing could improve teacher retention, reduce turnover and
increase student achievement. The organization’s research identifies
emerging jobs that will create learning teams in schools and offer promising
opportunities to experienced workers: adjunct teachers, teacher coaches
or mentors, content advisers, project coordinators, tutors and an assortment
of other skilled jobs, from grant writer to community liaison.
In How Boomers Can Help the Nation Go Green: Emerging Encore Career
Opportunities in the Green Economy, the Council for Adult
and Experiential Learning reveals how talent and experience will be key
to reversing decades of environmental damage and moving toward energy efficiency.
Their research indicates that the green economy must tap existing talent
to grow quickly and that certain emerging jobs offer promising opportunities
to experienced workers: weatherization installers and crew leaders; energy
auditors; solar contractors; solar installation trainers; outreach workers;
and conservation and sustainability consultants and advocates.
“This research makes it clear that interest in encore careers can help
solve long-standing social problems and an anticipated labor gap,” said
Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “It’s time
to think creatively about how to encourage and make use of this growing source
of human talent.”
About Civic Ventures (www.encore.org)
Civic Ventures is a national think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.
About MetLife Foundation (www.metlife.org)
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry
on its long-standing tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement.
The Foundation has been involved in a variety of aging-related initiatives addressing
issues of caregiving, intergenerational activities, mental fitness, health and
wellness programs and civic involvement.