Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Massachusetts: Aging Workforce and Skills Gaps in Metros South/West Region

The first in a series of skills gap reports prepared as a joint project by Commonwealth Corporation and the New England Public Policy Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been released. According to "Labor Market Trends in the Metro South/West Region," the Metro South/West Region--which includes major workforce centers like Marlborough, Framingham, Natick, Franklin and Hopkinton--faces the demographic challenges of an aging population and potential shortfalls in workers with the required educational levels.

The area is one of the oldest regions in the state; in 2008-10, nearly 50% of the region’s civilian labor force was 45 years of age or older, suggesting that the region’s businesses are facing a potential overall shortage of younger workers to replace baby boomers as they retire.
In the past decade, there has been strong growth in the share of workers who are 45-54 years old and 55-64 years old. In addition, there have been an increasing number of workers who are 65 years and older and in the labor force. At the same time, there has been a declining number of workers between the ages of 25 and 34 and between 35 and 44.
With respect to unemployment, the report notes:
A larger share of the unemployed in Metro South/West is over the age of 45, compared with Massachusetts and the nation. This is a consequence of the region’s older population. At the beginning of the decade, when the unemployment rate was at 2.1 percent, the unemployed population was largely concentrated among 25-54-year-olds. As the region’s population increased in age over the decade and the Great Recession took hold, the share of the unemployed age 45 or older grew to over 50 percent.
Source: New England Public Policy Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Executive Summary (June 26, 2012)

1 comment:

darwinfeldman said...

If I were these guys, I'd save up early in my career, maybe even use my 401K or IRA to invest into something such as real estate. By all means, I would be more than glad to have retired early and successfully. Just my two cents.

Darwin Feldman
Retirement Specialist