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The Vanishing Workforce - Exploring the Current Talent Crisis and the Coming Demographic Drought.

Video from Express Employment Professionals

"Learn more at On August 10, at 12:00pm (EST), Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids hosted this free and informative webinar featuring Ron Hetrick, Director of Staffing Products and Data at Emsi Burning Glass. Ron is the co-author of the recently released research paper titled The Demographic Drought, which explores the current talent crisis and the coming “sansdemic”. Whereas pandemic implies all people, sansdemic means without people, or in this case without enough people. There are currently a record number of over 7.5 million job openings across the United States. Businesses of all types are struggling to attract and retain employees in what seems like a true war for talent. To many, this may seem counter-intuitive, considering the relatively high unemployment rate we’ve seen for the last 15 months. The 2020 Census data is coming out and the numbers show that America’s workforce is vanishing right in front of us. The pandemic and government response has kept many employees on the sidelines for the last year, but we are finding the pandemic has not been the primary culprit of the current talent shortage; rather it has just accelerated factors already at play for many years. 2020 sped up the collision of three huge forces. • A mass exodus of baby boomers from the labor force. • Historic lows in the labor force participation rate among working age people. • A huge decline in birthrates. Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids has partnered with Emsi Burning Glass to provide this free webinar. We are committed to helping our clients understand what is happening in the workforce and developing a strong strategy to successfully recruit and retain employees. The workforce outlook certainly presents challenges, but employers who take a proactive and people first approach can become an employer of choice and rise above the competition in this war for talent." from video introduction.

Will Birth Rates Rise?

"Recently released official U.S. birth data for 2020 showed that births have been falling almost continuously for more than a decade. For every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44), 55.8 of them gave birth in 2020, compared to 69.5 in 2007, a 20 percent decline. The “total fertility rate,” which is a measure constructed from these data to estimate the average total number of children a woman will ever have, fell from 2.12 in 2007 to 1.64 in 2020. It is now well below 2.1, the value considered to be “replacement fertility,” which is the rate needed for the population to replace itself without immigration..." from the article: Will births in the US rebound? Probably not.

Demographic Disaster, Has it Arrived?

This article and book is from 2013. It seems the author was accurate and we are reaping what we sow! - Andy

In What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster, Jonathan Last details the falling birthrate in America (and in the world) and explains why Very Bad Things inevitably follow population decline. Contrary to rumor, Last observes, overpopulation is not the black cloud on the horizon. In 1979, the world’s fertility rate was 6.0; today it’s 2.52 (p. 8). America’s fertility rate is just about the highest in the Western world, but at 1.93 it’s still well below that replacement rate of 2.1. And the only reason our rate is relatively high is because Hispanic women are doing most of the heavy lifting with a fertility rate of 2.35—a rate that is falling fast...I won’t take the time to summarize every chapter, though everyone merits discussion. From start to finish I found myself underlining remarkable statistics and fascinating observations. For example:

  • It used to be that the elites had more children, but now they noticeably have fewer children than people on the lower end of the social spectrum. In the culture’s eyes, children have gone from being a marker of success to an indicator of failure (72).

  • The percentage of women in America who have five or more children is 1.8 percent (79).

  • If current fertility rates remain constant in Europe, the population of the continent will shrink from 738 million to 482 million by the end of century (97).

  • In 1950, the median age in America was 30. In 2000, it was 35. By 2050 it will be 40, the median age in Florida today (100).

  • Fertility rates, especially among whites, is one of the best predictors of whether states vote Republican or Democratic.

  • Many Americans fear the rise of an expansionist China, but according to Last, with the legacy of China’s One Child Policy and a male-to-female ration of 123-100, China’s future is one of being a declining superpower with a rapidly contracting economic base and an unstable political structure (136)..

As Last puts it, although there are many good reasons to have a baby, at the end of the day, “there’s only one good reason to go through the trouble a second time: Because you believe, in some sense, that God wants you too” (170). The basic reason countries stop having children is because they’ve come to see offspring as a liability rather than a source of hope (175). As Christians, we know better." from the article: What to Expect When No One’s Expecting


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