- U.S. businesses may be facing a "demographic cliff" due to a "historic decline" in population growth, an Emsi study, released May 6, said.
- The U.S. is "approaching a major inflection point" that could worsen an already tight labor market — one that businesses and universities alike need to plan for, Emsi CEO Andrew Crapuchettes said in a statement. Wages and employee costs may rise substantially, according to Emsi, while some companies have already reported production slowdowns due to an inability to find talent.
- "The fact is, competition for talent is going to become brutal," added Emsi Director of Staffing Product Ron Hetrick. "Businesses can no longer assume there will be enough people to go around."
Reports released just before the pandemic hit revealed that the talent shortage was already a keen concern for employers. A January 2020 report from ManpowerGroup said that the global talent shortage had "nearly doubled" in the past decade alone, while a March 2020 report said that the U.S. talent shortage had tripled in the same time period. More than two-thirds of U.S. organizations surveyed said they had trouble finding skilled workers.
While the job market took a major tumble when the pandemic hit, by the end of 2020, recruiting and hiring surged as a top concern going into 2021, an XpertHR survey showed. Almost half of HR pros surveyed said they expected to increase the size of their workforce in 2021.
But any potential post-pandemic baby boom turned out to be a bust, various media sources reported, further exacerbating employer concerns about the future of their talent pipelines. That's why employers have been investing heavily into learning and development programs, even during times of hardship like the pandemic. Walmart, for example, has started cross-training its associates to both create more flexibility in the workforce and allow for more predictable schedules for its workforce.