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The Future of the Workforce
(January 30, 2008) Yesterday's article reviewed three major influences on the future of work as defined by RAND researchers Lynn Karoly and Constantijn Panis.
Let's take a look at the workforce and some statistics.
The numbers show a significant decrease in annual US workforce growth (depicted in the chart below). Growth declines significantly after 2010.
Just to add a bit of perspective - the US is 4.5% of the World's population. One in twenty people on the planet live in the US. Here is a comparitive chart of Global Population and the US Population.
US growth number are:
2010 - 309 Million
2020 - 336 Million
2030 - 363 Million
2040 - 392 Million
2050 - 420 Million
The US is estimated to add 111 million people over 40 years and the world adding 2.4 billion people during that time period.
The gap in numbers in the US workforce versus an increasing population will strain workers and challenge companies. The flexibility and creativity of employees and companies will be mandatory.
The terms for inclusion in "workforce" may have to be redefined to include stay at home parents, adults caring for parents and individuals staying "out" for a variety of other reasons. The definition of our workforce and the very definition of work itself must be examined and redefined to meet the needs of people and the planet.
Looking at the size and composition of the workforce that will be faced with the quick pace of technological growth and economic globalization is challenging. The biggest challenge, however, will be ramping up our educational systems to teach what their students will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
See you in class.
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