Job Projections, 2019-2029, Macro shifts, Gig work and the Baby-Boomers

In mid-September 2020, The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics published their updated 2019-2029 Employment Projection summary news release and the associated handbook which discusses various job roles and hiring and salary expectations over the next decade. It identified a number of easy to consume trends which caught my attention and perhaps worth your consideration.

In the report, they state that in 2019 we had 162.8 million workers in the USA which they project to grow by 6-8 million jobs (in total) over the next ten years, an annual growth of less than HALF of 1%, compared to the last decade’s growth of 1.3%. Not surprising (and due to the aging of America), 60% of those new jobs will be in the health and medical fields. You can browse through the interactive handbook and click on any number of filters and report types, but BE SURE to try the links in the “Browse Occupations” section on the bottom half of the first screen. Try “Most New Jobs” or “Highest Paid Jobs”. (Spoiler alerts: Highest-Paid Jobs has Psychiatrists listed at the top, and while Most-New Jobs is listed as “Home Health”, the second biggest increase in jobs is Fast Food workers!)

BLS talks about some notable related and supporting projections which can be summarized as follows:

  • More people over 55 years old will continue to be employed full-time (financial stability has decreased)
  • Fewer people below 34 years old will choose to be employed full-time (the ‘desk job’ has less appeal to many in this age group who want freelance or “gig” style work)
  • About 57% of women will work full-time outside the home, compared to 66% of men (and both will be down slightly from today)

The BLS offers their narrative: “The decline in labor force participation is due to the aging of the babyboom generation, a continuation of the declining trend in men’s participation, and a slight decline in women’s participation”. And throughout the report they cite the aging of the baby-boomers as a root cause.

BLS spends billions of dollars and countless resources gathering data and analyzing it and ultimately come to the same conclusion and projections that we all implicitely feel: Baby-Boomers are timing out, or as I like to say ‘Greying out’.  Couple this workforce aging with the URGENT macro topics of:

  • COVID – all of the long-term shifts and economics caused by it
  • Trade Policies – shifting of raw materials/goods/transportation/macro-economics
  • ‘GIG work Mentality’ – intentionally skipping full-time employment altogether
  • Online everything – The death of brick and mortar retail
  • ‘Valuing Differences’ – Diversity/Devision/HumanRights

and we have a crazy ride over the next 10 years to be sure. The world we knew has changed, and those changes are STRUCTURAL. We will never go back to pre-2020 life…. This is not a fad, nor a short-term manageable incident. The world has changed and the quicker each of us decides how they wish to participate in the new structure, the easier life will be for that person. And when enough people have gotten on board, life will become easier once again.

Note: While the report above is USA-centric, similiar patterns are already being seen worldwide.





Share this