Baby Boomers are Retiring – How do we fill their shoes?

This month, we’ve been talking about What’s Impacting the Labor Force Participation Rate.  Last week, Lorrie shared how the Benefits Cliff impacted the participation in When Working Costs Too Much. Another significant factor in this equation is Baby Boomers exiting the workforce. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Baby Boomers account for 1 in 4 American workers. As they are exiting in droves, their absence will lead to an even wider workforce gap as companies will need to fill positions made available after the Boomers retire. Check out this article from The Washington Post to learn more: The boomers are retiring. See why that’s bad news for workers.

Who will fill the gap? Here are 3 possible solutions:

  1. Mentorship –  Baby Boomers have a wealth of knowledge to pass along. One promising option to help with the transition is the creation of a baby boomer knowledge transfer and replacement program that focuses on senior employees transferring their knowledge before they retire.
  2. Remote workers – If given the opportunity, Baby Boomers as well as other generations who are willing to work remotely, possibly part-time, may also be a solution in some industries.
  3. Immigrant workers – Foreign workers are already filling the gap in STEM fields. According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. workforce increased to 28.2 million foreign-born workers. There are several other fields where immigrant workers can help fill the gap.

Stay tuned for more solutions to the Labor Participation Rate issue!


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Taylor Simmons