Boomers Finally Leaving Workforce: But are Millennials Ready to Step Up?


As more boomers age out of the American workforce, their employers are having a hard time filling their shoes.

According to a new report from Citigroup, firms are facing constraints on the availability of qualified labor resources as older workers age out of the workforce or reduce their hours, leaving a gap in productivity. Older workers leaving the workforce to enter retirement is part of the labor market cycle that opens up opportunities for young adults to fill—good news for the millennials that have faced bleak hiring prospects since the Great Recession. But employers say they can’t find the skilled workers from the younger workforce members, making it hard for them to increase their payroll and could have long-term consequences on economic growth.

Citi’s Nathan Sheets, report author, says that for the qualified younger workers that step in to take more of the now-vacant jobs will likely be working harder and longer hours—for more pay.

“When there is less labor available, each worker has more capital, so it’s natural for them to be paid more,” Sheets says.

Paul Conway, former chief of staff at the Labor Department, says the report is positive for a younger labor force that has had a stunted career trajectory due to a lagging economy.

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