“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
In 2012, things changed in the U.S. job market. As the economy slowly recovered from the recession, a key demographic indicator changed that is beginning to have dramatic effects. For the first time in our history, the senior population is projected to double the size of the working-age population.
Demographics are determined opponents. The aging population reduces the size of the market, raises healthcare and pension costs for companies and the government, and directly impacts productivity.
How is productivity impacted? For one thing, workers over 55 are a growing percentage of the workforce and are adding more productivity than at any time in history. Productivity is increasingly from technology and automation, which require less total workers in both the private and public sectors. Finally, we have a system that is large enough to absorb these changes for a time.
By 2035 our demographics will reverse once again and we will have a surplus of working-age people. By then, the world will be different and the global economy could require a radically different workforce. One thing we cannot do is stand by and let demographics and the global economy define us. We need to understand them and prepare for what is sure to come our way.