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Changing Demographics in the U.S. Workforce

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According to United States Department of Labor, over the next decade there will be some important changes to the demographic trends within the workforce. It is predicted that the labor force will continue to diversify because immigration accounts for most of the population growth. It is predicted that by 2020 non-Hispanic workers will make up only 68 percent of the workforce (Lerman & Schmidt, page 4).

One issued Human Resource management will face as the labor force diversifies is finding talented, educated employees. This is because the education levels within the Hispanic community are below high school level. As of 1997 only fifty-five percent of the Hispanic population over the age of 25 had completed high school (Lerman & Schmidt, page 4). Because Hispanics have a growing presence in the job market, their lack of education will lower the educational base of the labor force. Thus the human resource departments will have to change their strategy on finding the skill needed to perform the jobs they need to fill.

Another issue that Human Resource departments need to be aware of is the rise of women in the work place. Whereas this is a good thing, organizations need to consider that the rise of women in the work force will bring other issues. The likely hood that the women will have young children is high, or it is likely women already in the work place well get married and start a family. If organizations want to attract and keep women they will need to meet their needs. Such things as flexible work schedule, or onsite daycare might be a good way to attract talented women in the work force. Over the next decade, instead of having nearly all increases in employment coming from the twenty-five to fifty-four year old age group, fewer than one in three, thirty-one percent, of the added workers will be in this category. About half of the additional workers will come from the fifty-five and older category while only one in five will come from the youth labor force (Lerman & Schmidt, page1). Increases in education with the older work force along with the demand for skilled workers will likely raise the share of older workers. With a rise in an older work force the human resource department will have to find a way to meet the needs of the employees. Such things as possible health issues, and retirement plans should help the human resource department to come up with a strategy for this work force.

Human resource departments will have to find various ways to deal with the demographic trends within the workforce. Understanding what the labor trend will be is going to be critical if an organization is going to survive. Knowing that employees are approaching retirement age, companies may want to start recruiting and training qualified employees based on the organization’s needs and the trends in the work force.


Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_data_labor_force.htm

Lerman R. I. & Schmidt S. R. Futurework Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Centry. The urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/herman/reports/futurework/conference/trends/trendsI.htm

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