“Between 2014 and 2024, overall employment is projected to grow by about 7%,” says the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most new jobs are expected to be in the healthcare industry.
Such jobs will comprise one in four new positions from 2014-2024 and will employ an additional 2.3 million workers.
The workforce is aging—from a median of 37.7 years old in 1994 to an expected 42.4 in 2024. Consequently, as the number of future retirements loom larger, participation in the labor force is expected to decrease, from 62.9% in 2014 to 60.9% by 2024.
Read on to discover additional workplace and employment changes that will influence both your members and your employees.
Fastest-growing occupation: Wind turbine technicians—up 108%
Let’s begin with a broad view of employment trends.
“More Older Americans Staying on Job or Retiring in Phases,” says The Columbus Dispatch. “Many aging baby boomers are caught between a desire to work less and a labor market that isn’t ready to let them go,” the article notes.
Some may have fears about financial security in retirement. A Wells Fargo survey shows 34% of those age 60+ will work until they die or are no longer able.
Others want to slowly enter retirement: About 40% of respondents to a Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report say they will seek a less demanding job or cut back their hours.
Some employers offer “phased retirement” that will allow those on the way to retirement to work part time as they mentor a replacement.
“New research suggests that the share of workers who want to work more but can’t find full-time jobs may remain elevated even as the economy improves,” says Monthly Labor Review. At present, about one of four part-timers works part-time involuntarily despite the drop in unemployment rates.
Part of the reason for ongoing part-time work is connected to the business cycle. But other structural factors like earnings, changes in industry composition, wage rates, and demographics are also influential.
Certain industries, especially service industries, have greater demand for part-time workers. Employers counteract the effect of high wages with additional part-time jobs.
“How permanent the structural factors will prove to be is unclear,” the article says. “If persistent, these factors may keep the level of involuntary part-time work associated with the Federal Reserve’s maximum employment goal above the levels observed before the Great Recession.”
Another source agrees that wages are going up. “U.S. Workers May Finally Catch a Break as Wages Look Set to Rise,” according to Bloomberg. Dropping unemployment rates and a resulting competitive labor market equals 1.5 job hunters per each posted vacancy.
It is expected workers will enjoy a 3% wage gain, compared to the past five years where increases sat around two percent.
And, a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business revealed “the net percentage of small firms planning compensation increases reached a nine-year high.”
Most job openings because of growth and replacement need: retail salespersons—1.9 million jobs through 2024.
Synergy Services, a company working with flexible workers and the companies that employ them, has identified “Four Significant Trends that Will Impact the Workplace in 2016.” They are:
1. A growing flexible workforce. Flexible workers comprise 20% of workers today, and this number is projected to reach 40-50% within 10 years. Two-thirds of new jobs last year were held by non-employee workers.
2. Virtual businesses are growing. Companies are becoming more mobile from their inception as technology allows “work to be done wherever and whenever is best for the worker.”
3. Demand for work-life balance from staffers of all ages.
4. A change in the leadership paradigm as flexible workers make impact. Previous “top-down” leadership styles do not work with “a roving band of knowledge workers for hire—going from one interesting project to the next.”
Fast Company echoes some of these trends in its “6 Ways Work Will Change in 2016.” Workplace change doesn’t happen overnight, according to the article, and many existing trends for 2016 will become increasingly prevalent.
Watch for an increasing number of “remote-first businesses,” more independent consultants, greater use of video in presentations rather than PowerPoint, larger importance place on work-life balance, and new expectations of leaders who need to become more inspirational.
Finally, “consumer-grade design” will be the new normal in areas such as HR and IT.
Watch for “10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2016” according to Forbes. Among them, a greater acceptance of “boomerang employees” as workers switch jobs more frequently; an increased importance placed on succession planning as boomers retire from managerial positions; workplace flexibility will take hold; wearable technology will become disruptive and create greater efficiencies; and office design will facilitate collaborations and invite top talent with greater work options.
Further, Obamacare will force employers to shift more costs to employees, more jobs will become automated, and the first of Generation Z will start working. This cohort is “more entrepreneurial, loyal, flexible and realistic in their approach to careers and purchasing.”
Ambitious workers may want to know “Five Key Business Trends to Master in 2016” per Fortune. Some of them: One thought is to “retire the term ‘manager’” and replace it with “coach.”
Startups need support; agile companies will “organize and inspire free agents” to create a more fluid business; and employers should consider that employees care about working for organizations that “stand for more than just profit” and value factors like social and environmental records.
Peter Drucker said “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” We can also assume there will be bumps along the way and that courses may change direction.
Still, awareness of what perhaps lies ahead in the workaday world will provide insight into related aspects of the economy and consumer financial situations.
How might your understanding turn the headlights on as you drive country roads?