Labor shortages in several fields, including healthcare, may become a major problem over the next 15 years, according to a report released Sept. 2 by a nonprofit corporate research organization.
In the report, The Conference Board analyzed the risk of future labor markets in 464 occupations in the U.S. The report, From Not Enough Jobs to Not Enough Workers, introduces a Labor Shortage Index that uses existing labor-market tightness and future demographic changes to predict the likelihood of labor shortages in 2025. Occupations with the highest risk of labor shortages are the ones growing quickly or those having a difficult time attracting new workers.
Mature economies are facing a historical turning point: for the first time since World War II, working-age populations are declining, report co-author Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board, said in a news release. The global financial crisis and its aftermath stubbornly high unemployment in many countries have postponed the onset of this demographic transformation, but will not prevent it from taking hold.
Nationwide, the report states future labor shortages primarily will occur in health-related professions, skilled labor occupations and specific fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions.
Our extensive database of occupational data points us to the U.S. industries most at risk of labor shortages, Levanon said in the release. Topping the list are healthcare, including hospitals and nursing facilities; transportation industries, including ground passenger, water and rail transport; utilities; social assistance; and mining and construction.
As the aging U.S. population causes the number of working-age adults to shrink, it also will increase demand for medical workers. This, paired with the often high education and experience requirements needed to enter the job market could lead to a shortage in healthcare workers, according to the report. The findings also forecast a growing shortage of healthcare professionals who work with an aging population.
Report summary: www.conference-board.org/press/pressdetail.cfm?pressid=5266