Categorized | Job Hunting

You may be part of an untapped labor resource.

Posted on 03 November 2008

With 141 million people in the U.S. workforce expected to fill 151 million jobs in 2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the remaining slots are a cause of concern. But there is good news. This shortfall will make room for the emergence of formerly under-utilized segments of the population, namely welfare-to-workers, older workers, and people with disabilities. We will also turn to heightened immigration and exporting jobs overseas.

Wherefore Welfare?
How? First, the number of people on U.S. welfare dropped from 14 million in 1994 to roughly six million in 1999–a 55 percent reduction in five years–signaling a growing resource of future workers. Secondly, senior workers are gaining in appreciation and respect–just in time to begin bolstering labor lines. A recent Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) survey of employers elicited the following responses to this statement:

“Compared to younger workers, older workers tend to ”

  • Have more commitment (77%)
  • Be more reliable (76%)
  • Be more motivated (40%)
  • Increase health care costs (33%)
  • Be less flexible (23%)
  • Have a harder time grasping new concepts (18%)
  • Stifle creativity (17%)
  • Take longer to train (14%)
  • Be more costly to train (6%)
  • Have higher rates of absenteeism (2%)
Senior workers are gaining in appreciation and respect–just in time to begin bolstering labor lines.

Mind Over Matter
Although only 30 percent of respondents stated that they “actively recruit older workers,” this percentage may grow as more reliable and committed help is needed. And finally, most people with disabilities are still unemployed and remain an untapped resource for the future workforce. Individuals with disabilities outnumber welfare recipients, have lower incidences of alcohol, drug, and criminal issues, and work with their minds as opposed to their muscle. This segment could fill some of the worker void.

Immigration has loosened over recent years, with occupational H-1B visas being bumped from 60,000 annually to now 195,000. It is interesting to note that U.S. and Japanese age spreads differ sharply from countries such as Mexico, India, Brazil, and China, by having a relatively smaller percentage of the population in the lower age brackets. In the year 2020, the difference is forecasted to be even greater: these other countries will have population spreads represented by a wide-base triangle, with more younger individuals at the bottom and fewer older individuals at the top. Meanwhile, the U.S. disbursement will resemble a pillar, with a fairly even breakdown among the ages; Japan’s disbursement will form an inverted pyramid, with far fewer younger than older people. In a nutshell, the jobs will be where the younger workers won’t be, resulting in continued expansion of immigration as well as exporting jobs to meet the demand for workers.

Take Heart
What does it all mean? Plainly, fuller employment times are on the way! A candidate-driven future is in the offing, once we’ve cleared this short period of economic correction. Candidates will be back in the catbird seat, commanding the compensation and attention they have grown accustomed to in recent years.

The message: No one enjoys the daily bombardment of layoff news and low earnings reports. But, at some point, good news must overcome bad. I raise my voice on the positive side.

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- who has written 318 posts on Higher Education and Career Blog.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Resume Tips says:

    Thanks for raising your “voice to the positive side” Khan. I agree that the short period of economic correction will be over soon and if you are without a job now, use the time off to update your resume, take a class, reevaluate, reorganize, and make decisions. This way, when the smoke clears you will be ahead of the game and ready to begin a new chapter.

    Resume to Referral
    Resume and Career Services
    http://www.resumetoreferral.com

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