Unformatted text preview: 78 Million people were born. This segment was between the ages of 40 and 58 in 2004
and will be between the ages of 50 and 68 years in 2014.
3. 1965 to 1976: The ‘Baby-Bust’ era refers to the era where the number of births decreased once again.
This segment of the population constitutes the prime-aged worker group aged 25 to 54 from 2004
through 2014. This group makes up a much smaller population and the difference in numbers will
contribute to the decrease in the growth of the labor force through 2014.
4. 1976 to 2000: The ‘Baby-Boom Echo’ is comprised of the children of the baby-boomers after 1976. A
part of this cohort entered the workforce in 2004 and will be in the prime-aged workforce by 2014.
5. As a result of this fluctuation in population, the baby-bust generation is entering the prime labor age.
Because of the much smaller group, the numbers applied to replacing the aging workforce, as well as
new job growth will cause difficulty in the workforce by 2014.
The median age for the labor workforce peaked at 40.6 years in 1962. In 1982 this value was 35 years, 37.7
years in 1994, 40.3 in 2004 and is projected to be 41.6 in 2014. It is expected that labor growth will slow to 1%
from 1.2% from 2004 to 2014. Additionally, the continued trend in ‘early retirements’ of the 55 and older
workforce will signify additional challenges, especially as the early group of baby-boomers are already close to
retiring in vast numbers3. Reliability Center, Inc. Figure 2: Change in Workforce (in 1,000’s) by Age Group from 2004 – 20144 © Reliability Center, Inc. 2 Figure 3: Percent Change in Workforce 2004 to 20145 What is the Impact?
Defining the impact of this change is a challenge as it is meeting a range of responses from the Department of
Labor Statistics, US Department of Defense, a variety of states’ Departments of Commerce, and the National
Association of Manufacturers, to name a few.
In a report presented by the US Department of Defense to Congress in February, 20056, it was reported that
there is no industrial crisis and that feelings of crisis are ‘misplaced.’ The report then goes on to justify why the
US Department of Defense needs to obtain military materials overseas.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states, within its November 2005 report that while there is a change in the
makeup of the workforce to an older workforce, that there is sufficient manpower to maintain USA
competitiveness. However, all of the reports take into account number of people and not skill, experience or
work ethic. Reliability Center, Inc. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Study7 identifies one of the key issues over the next decade will be the waning
of a competent replacement workforce (Table 1).
Table 1: Most Prominent Concerns 2005 to 2015
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- Spring '12
- labor force, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Reliability Center