Demographics are a fluid force that affects every aspect of contemporary life and the state of US employment is no exception. A recent study completed by Colorado-based market research company IHS Inc. has revealed that the demographic makeup of the US work force will shift to a great extent over the course of the coming two decades. The economic research leg of IHS, whose headquarters are located in Douglas County, Colorado, undertook a study on the demographic shifts that will impact the workforce between 2014 and 2034. The main takeaway of the study is that Hispanics will dominate the US employment growth landscape between 2020 and 2034, by snagging three quarters of all the projected new jobs.
Hispanics Set to take Over New US Employment Growth
The explanation for this demographic trend becomes easily apparent, when taking into consideration the evolution of the non-Hispanic workforce over the next ten years. At the moment, 17.4 per cent of non-Hispanic workers are set to retire by 2024, as the Baby Boom generation is aging into their golden years. Meanwhile, over 9.8 per cent of Hispanic laborers are poised to retire by the end of the next decade. The lead author of the IHS study, an economist with the company has explained that the Hispanic population is younger than most other segments and it is increasing at a more rapid pace. Meanwhile, says the same James Gillula, the baby boomers are aging, making room for the Hispanics to play an ever more important role in the future of US employment growth.
In 2015, only 16.3 per cent of the workforce was made up of Hispanic ethnics. That translates into about 25.4 million people. By the end of the timespan analyzed, i.e. 2034, 41.4 million people or 23 per cent of the labor force will comprise Hispanics.
How Demographics Affect the US Employment Workforce
Though 2015 is shaping up to be another year of slow, but certain economic improvement, unemployment levels are still relatively high. Obviously, they affect different demographics in different ways, since the phenomenon of population aging is not the only one which impacts the state of the labor market. It is, however, equally true that this phenomenon will cause the level of job growth to slow down, in comparison with other years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that while during the 2000-2010 decade job growth stood at 0.8 per cent, this figure will be lowered to 0.7 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Some of the largest employers in the US, among which we can count Wal-Mart, Yum! Brands, McDonald’s, Kroger, Target, Home Depot, and Hewlett-Packard are seeing the effects of this shift in demographics. The workforce nowadays is older, more diverse from an ethnic and racial point of view, and includes more women. However, diverse as it may be, this doesn’t mean it won’t slow down on several counts. The rate of labor force participation dropped by 2.4 per cent over the 2000-2010 decade and it’s expected to drop by a further 2.2 per cent by 2020. At the moment, the workforce is made up of 81.4 per cent non-white non-hispanics, 62.3 per cent non-hispanic whites, and, for the time being, only 18.6 per cent of non-white Hispanic workers are represented in the workforce. Many of them work for the afore-mentioned ‘major companies’, while many are actively seeking labor on major online platforms, such as LinkedIn, Craiglist, USAJobs, or CareerBuilder. By 2020, 1.4 million people will join the U.S. population each year, which, in then will also render the workforce more ethnically diverse. It’s just worth noting that the large number cited above represents a massive departure from the yearly 800,000 immigrants projected by the BLS in 2004.
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