There is no data available about the fact that our labor keeps decreasing, and there may not be for a decade or more. In the last three years, About 10,000 people a day on average retired in the U.S. Compare that to a little over 2,000 joining the workforce by turning working age (16), and you can easily see where the labor issues are. People are aging out of the workforce faster than the rate of people entering it.
But the U.S. should not feel like the Lone Ranger. People are aging out of the workplace virtually around the world. In fact, for most countries — especially the U.S. — “job creation” is no longer the most important factor for an economy. Particularly in the South, the region that has seen the toughest time since the Great Depression, job creation has been paramount. But that is no longer the case. Some years, the South creates as many new jobs as the other three regions combined.
We are now entering an era when our politicians stumping for office should literally slow the promotion of job creation and instead figure out how they are going to fill those jobs. There are well over 10 million jobs available in this country as of October and only 8.4 million people looking for work.
Also affecting the labor market in the U.S. — 15 percent of the population was retired in 2010. In 2020, that figure rose to 20 percent.
So, what to do? Millions of economists say, “not much.” The U.S. can increase legal immigration, which could result in reversing the trend, but for how long? Also, increasing legal immigration under President Trump literally gave it a bad name. His last year office, legal immigration — we are talking about working visas — dropped by 85 percent from over 1 million to 200,000.
Then again, a more productive workforce with the aid of automation and AI could help, too.