One of our most recent questions was
from Chris, based in the US:
The global labor market was predicted to be disrupted by aging populations and industry 4.0 between 1% and 50% before the pandemic. What are the new projections? What are the thoughts on best ways to mitigate in the short, medium, and long term?
The demographic predictions are that the world population will continue aging after the pandemic is long over, since birth rates in lower-income countries are projected to keep falling, and longevity will rise, barring repeated pandemics. This is not disruption—it’s a set of circumstances to which countries will have to adjust. Indeed, one might argue that it is beneficial, since an older labor force is a more skilled labor force; and, not to be anti-youth, older workers are more settled and less likely to quit jobs than younger workers.
The worldwide labor force will age. So too for the US labor force, although like other rich countries we can stave off problems by allowing immigration to continue as it has in the past 3 or 4 decades.