A study released by the Massachusetts Institute of a New Commonwealth (MassINC) and the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University has found that the Massachusetts labor force declined by 1.7% from 2003 to 2005 while the national labor force expanded by 3.1% and that most of those who left the labor force were men in two age groups--16- to 24-year-olds and 35- to 54-year-olds.
Thus, according to the study--“Mass Economy: the Labor Supply and Our Economic Future”--one fo the three critical factors for growth in the economy will be incorporating more older workers into the workforce. The combination of the aging of the baby boom generation the declining number of workers in what is considered the “prime working age years” (25-54 years old) will have the result that, in particular between 2010 and 2015, the graying of the Massachusetts labor force will accelerate further.
Source: MassInc and Center for Labor Market Studies Research Report (December 2006)
Other Sources: The Enterprise "Shrinking labor force threatens region" (December 10, 2006); Worcester Telegram "Report says Massachusetts is losing workers" (December 10, 2006)