Baby boomers created a labor shortage. Immigration may be the fix


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hal-a-lujah  •  2 years ago  •  6 comments

By:   Jennifer Alsever (Fast Company)

Baby boomers created a labor shortage. Immigration may be the fix
More than half of adults 55 and older have retired, adding to the labor shortage. Economists say more immigration could be key to fixing the economy.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Amid worries over rampant inflation and whether the U.S. may be slipping into a recession, some economists see one simple fix that could lift the economy: immigration.

"The economy would benefit enormously from more immigration," says Mark Zandi, Moody's chief economist. "It would alleviate labor shortages and cool inflation and interest rates." Economic research by Moody's Analytics has shown that for every 1% increase in the population made of immigrants, the GDP rises 1.15%.

The U.S. still has nearly 11 million unfilled jobs, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The biggest driver: Baby boomers have been retiring in droves, leaving huge gaps in the workforce. As of late 2021, 50.3% of U.S. adults 55 and older said they had retired from the workforce, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The pace of those retirements has accelerated since 2020, even as the U.S. population growth has slowed. The Pew Research Centerprojects that the growth rate for the average working-age adult population will hover around 0.3% for the next two decades.

Meanwhile, immigration has taken a nosedive. In 2016, new arrivals to the U.S. peaked with 1 million legal immigrants, but those numbers began declining under the Trump Administration. Then, in 2020, COVID-19 shut down most travel, stopped immigration processing, and prompted many foreign workers to return to their home countries. In 2021, just 247,000 people legally immigrated to the U.S. If the nation had continued at prepandemic levels, it would have2 million more immigrants, according to one estimate—the absence of which are especially felt in hospitality, retail, and healthcare job vacancies.

"You can't grow the economy without labor," says James Feigenbaum, a macroeconomics professor at Utah State University. Without bodies, the economy will start to shrink, he says. "The only way to actually add more bodies to our labor force is to let people come in from outside the country."

Although some Americans worry that increasing immigration will make it harder to find a job—some 41% shared that concern, according to arecent survey by ResumeLab—economic research suggests that immigrants actually create more jobs. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found "little evidence that immigration significantly affects the overall employment levels of native-born workers." They can even raise the incomes of other citizens, according toPia Orrenius, vice president and senior economist at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank.

Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the American Immigration Council, explains it this way: When you can't get truck drivers, you can't move goods around. When a restaurant can't hire employees, people miss their rent. "There's an economic imperative that we fix the immigration system," he says.


jrDiscussion - desc
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
1  seeder  Hal A. Lujah    2 years ago

As of late 2021, 50.3% of U.S. adults 55 and older said they had retired from the workforce, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

Holy hell!!  I’m must be doing something wrong.

On a side note, so much for the “feral cats” argument.  This system needs fixing for everyone’s sake.

Professor Quiet
1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @1    2 years ago

I'm 67 and have retired twice already. Once from the military and then from a civilian career. Did my share.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.1    2 years ago

LOL.  You made me realize I retired twice as well - first from my original profession, and then later from teaching. 

Professor Principal
2  Kavika     2 years ago

If it wasn't for immigration the US would be close to the same shape that Western Europe, Japan, S. Korea and China are currently in. An aging workforce that is not being replaced. 

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @2    2 years ago

However, there's more and more automation here.  They've even started allowing driverless taxis in Chongqing.

Sparty On
Professor Principal
3  Sparty On    2 years ago

Damn those baby boomers.    Retiring after 40-50 years of hard work.

Damn them .... damn them jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif


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