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Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 07:53 AM   #1
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Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Over the years, there has been much talk that once the boomers start leaving the work force, worker shortages will begin to get serious. In planning for ER, I am counting on the following:

1. That leaving high stress corporate job for something less stressful will not be hard - looking anywhere from 4-10 years.

2. That decent paying (perhaps with benefits) part time work will be readily available if desired.

What is flaw in this thinking? And if anyone has read any articles on the topic, please let me know. Thanks
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

I've been reading articles about the "shortage" of skilled workers when the boomers all retire for over a decade.* However, every time a company cuts back it's the over 50's that take the brunt of the layoffs.

Boomers will retire over a wide range of ages.* The boomer generation spans over a decade in birth years.* By the time the "savers" retire early and the "spenders" work until near-death, the loss will barely be felt IMHO.* Throw in recession driven layoffs and we'll not be noticed except for the social security and medicare payments.

I've also started seeing articles about the "gray ceiling" where aging boomers are "holding back" the skilled and knowledgeable Gen X and Ys.* Boomers need to get out of their way!
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

The issue that many of my friends are encountering is that there is an abundance of service jobs...* The employers appear not to be willing to pay for experience.* Unless you have skills they want (i.e. engineering degree and a few others) then you are S*** outta LUCK.* All off the job boards stress Degree or Advanced Degree.* Most early retirees do not aspire to part time work as a Wally World Greeter.* I am waiting for HR Depts to wake up.* Not sure they will as so many "Hiring Managers and HR Screeners" are too young to comprehend real talent sources and most large employeers are rigid in wanting a 50+ hour commitment with minimal time off...* Just my observation!
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 10:42 AM   #4
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

From what I've seen in the medical field, age discrimination is alive and well once you pass about 55, even in positions that are hard to fill.
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 10:55 AM   #5
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

The Baby Boomers were born during the post-WWII years of 1946-1964--that's almost 2 decades. The oldest of us turn 60 this year; the youngest are only 42. IIRC the average age of recent retirement is 59, but it's creeping back up again. I expect it'll pass through 60 on its way to 62 within the next 5-10 years, and may go all the way back up to 65 in another 10-20 years. Us 'tweeners--cuaght between getting great pensions and saving enough in retirement accounts--will likely need to work longer (not us here, of course ). It's the War generation that preceeded us Boomers who enjoy the peak of perfection in pensions and Social Security increases--as my parents' success (despite saving virtually nothing for retirement) can attest.
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 10:55 AM   #6
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
I've also started seeing articles about the "gray ceiling" where aging boomers are "holding back" the skilled and knowledgeable Gen X and Ys.* Boomers need to get out of their way!
I donít see any worker shortage.

1. Work will continue to be outsourcing to other countries.
2. Gains in productivity will lower the demand for workers.
3. The workplace is changing fast. Older workers are stuck with older less useful skills.
4. Letís be frank. Older workers are not the most productive. So when they are gone, there is not that much to replace.

For me, I got 7-10 years left. After that, Iím getting the out.
My new job will be an investor/retiree.
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi
Letís be frank. Older workers are not the most productive. So when they are gone, there is not that much to replace.
Don't sell us geezers short My 5 hours a week of technical editing was replaced by a younger guy working 10 hours a week! Now let me see, what was I going to do today...?
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
It's the War generation that preceeded us Boomers who enjoy the peak of perfection in pensions and Social Security increases--as my parents' success (despite saving virtually nothing for retirement) can attest.
You speak heresy! *I brought that up once to someone in the War generation -- parent of 4 Boomers -- and pointed out that her social security far exceeds the value of her payments into the plan. *Her answer? *She deserved it because she had to go through the Depression and WWII.

The pre-Boomer generation is the first generation in history to retire in relative comfort and will probably be the last for quite awhile. *Most Boomers aren't ready and will get to enjoy a diminishing SS.
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 11:04 AM   #9
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Boomers need to get out of their way!
OK, all you Slackers out there, I get the hint. You're welcome!
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
It's the War generation that preceeded us Boomers who enjoy the peak of perfection in pensions and Social Security increases--as my parents' success (despite saving virtually nothing for retirement) can attest.
And don't forget 20+ yrs of nearly ruinous inflation they caused turning many into near millionaires just for breathing.

Shut up with the depression and WWII already. Get off the cross.* *Fact is they were just* young and standing there when the WWI generation started a war and said "Let the young people" fight it, just like the current crop is doing with their War.*

Then 20 yrs later the WWII crowd proudly gave us Vietnam, except they F'd that one up royal and still want to blame "Hippies" and other "cowards" for their results.
Just like they invented hyper debt and big gov but want to blame Boomers for all the problems. Especially "being lazy" . Yeah, right.

Hey,* mom and pop. Get a clue. They* have become what they have beheld.* They didn't make the world, they're just holding your bag.
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 11:40 AM   #11
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

I am there now--58 now and sort of in this situation. I was laid off about 7 years ago and have been living by my wits ever since, mostly as a contractor. I have special skills that are in demand at the moment, but I have to move around a lot to sell them. Right now, I am an American working in Alberta, Canada. There is a lot of work for everybody in Alberta today, but first getting into the country is the problem for most.

Today, the shortages are are for specific skills and are local, not everywhere. I am taking advantage of both situations. I don't see general labor shortages everywhere in the country now or anytime soon.

Age discrimination is real, too.

dmpi had some good points.
Quote:
1. Work will continue to be outsourcing to other countries.
2. Gains in productivity will lower the demand for workers.
3. The workplace is changing fast. Older workers are stuck with older less useful skills.
4. Letís be frank. Older workers are not the most productive. So when they are gone, there is not that much to replace.
I take some exception to #4. Actually getting things done is not the major part of American business. The major part is politics and meetings. I can get things done a hell of a lot faster and better than the kids I work for, but I am never going to get the chance to do so.

crazy connie has excellent points:
Quote:
1)... there is an abundance of service jobs... The employers appear not to be willing to pay for experience.
2) Unless you have skills they want (i.e. engineering degree and a few others) then you are S*** outta LUCK.
3)...most large employers are rigid in wanting a 50+ hour commitment with minimal time off... Just my observation!
I agree. If we want to work, we have to use cunning.

ed





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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 11:57 AM   #12
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi
2. Gains in productivity will lower the demand for workers.
If that's the case, there is no need for outsourcing. Productivity is almost at its peak now and people are starting to resent the long hours and experience burnout.
Quote:
3. The workplace is changing fast. Older workers are stuck with older less useful skills.
What are the useful skills? Is it the ability to play politics or to create useless projects or work for others?
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 01:06 PM   #13
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

I was hoping that you all would make me feel better about my thinking - but not the case. Still feel good about the finance skills I have developed over the years. Fortunately, all businesses have a need in this area. Worst case, if I need a little cash I can sit in an HR Block a few months of the year. Thanks for the input!
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 01:24 PM   #14
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
Then 20 yrs later the WWII crowd proudly gave us Vietnam, except they F'd that one up royal
Yup...*
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 01:26 PM   #15
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
If that's the case, there is no need for outsourcing. Productivity is almost at its peak now and people are starting to resent the long hours and experience burnout. What are the useful skills?* Is it the ability to play politics or to create useless projects or work for others?
The impetus to outsource is driven by lower cost. Jobs left in the USA will also benefit from increased productivity, and lower cost even further. A lot of the productivity gains we are seeing today are driven by technology. There is no end in sight, on how long the productivity gains can continue.
No one knows what will be the useful skills for tomorrowís job. Because of that, the ability to learn and adapt to the changing workplace is skill everyone needs to have.

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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 01:34 PM   #16
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy connie
Hiring Managers and HR Screeners" are too young to comprehend real talent sources and most large employeers are rigid in wanting a 50+ hour commitment
This is true. *I will be retiring in '07, somewhere between January and May (January's my birthday, but I want to wait till my DW retires, in the May/June timeframe).

I was asked by one of my "managers" (of course, a generation younger than me * ) if I would be willing to stay on for an indefinite period. *Since I'm allready F.I. I will be E.R. when I turn 59. *I said sure, but not for more than 8-10 hours a week. *This did not meet the "HR Policy" of a part-time worker, at 30 hours. *Any less was not an option.

Of course, my answer to the 30-hour minimum was no. *In addition, I sent a few published articles of the upcoming impact of the Boomer's, but since the organization is managed by folks at least a generation earlier in age than I, they just don't "quite get it".

Oh well, summer is shortly over, and spring is just around the corner * ...

- Ron
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 01:40 PM   #17
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

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Originally Posted by dmpi
The impetus to outsource is driven by lower cost. Jobs left in the USA will also benefit from increased productivity, and lower cost even further.
This is not only the situation in the US.* I work for a very large multi-national, with* their HQ in Europe.* Even though they have software engineers around the world, they are starting to outsource to both India and Poland (don't laugh, the Polish folks are well educated and speak excellent English* ).

- Ron
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 02:08 PM   #18
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Arc,

Don't throw away the idea. Seriously consider contracting.

Call an agency that you know hires out folks with your skills. Ask them what the story is. Note that agencies work locally. Your local office of Big Agency Company only knows its local market. Ask where the demand is geographically. You can do this today even if you are years away from jumping.

Be aware that once you go contract, you will forever be a pariah. Seldom will a company hire someone who has been a contractor. They fear your independence and your unwilllingness to work unpaid overtime.

Ed
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 02:25 PM   #19
 
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy

Be aware that once you go contract, you will forever be a pariah. Seldom will a company hire someone who has been a contractor. They fear your independence and your unwilllingness to work unpaid overtime.

Ed
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Not true at all in my experience. Contracting was the best way to get job offers. They 'try' before they buy
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER
Old 09-04-2006, 02:34 PM   #20
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Re: Worker Shortages and Impact on ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Be aware that once you go contract, you will forever be a pariah.* Seldom will a company hire someone who has been a contractor.* They fear your independence and your unwilllingness to work unpaid overtime.
I'm contract scum and proud of it. I can't believe how much money I'd have now if I had been paid for the overtime I did when I was a "real" person.

I'm able to stomach about 15% OT (6 hours per week) if the projects are falling behind. The money is nice and it will cover my unpaid time off -- to take soon, I hope. 2% OT for the year is about the equivalent dollars to a week off.
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