Get Ready for the Labor Shortage
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In all the worrying over the high unemployment rate, it strikes me that an important point is being missed.
A labor shortage is on the way.
Even at 8.2% unemployment there are already employers scrambling for qualified help -- the key word here being "qualified." You know that because people go on TV complaining there aren't enough H1B visas being granted, which let skilled workers from other countries take jobs here.
But there are bigger problems on the way, and by the latter half of this decade even people in the media will start to notice.
For starters, I'm getting older. Chances are, so are you. The heart of the baby boom turns 65 in 2020 (and on my birthday, Jan. 12) but contrary to what some tell you (that you're all going to have to work until you're 80) most of us are quitting early. I already have friends and relatives who've done the old Johnny Paycheck on their job, and most of them are pretty happy about it.
The baby boom has always been a demographic pig-in-the-python. We were all young together, and we're going to all be old together. Tens of millions of jobs are going to come available.
Then there's the sickness thing. Most of us boomers have already been through it with our parents. You get old, you're sick a lot. And you need care. Personal care. Where are all us boomers going to get enough people to wipe our bottoms in 2032, I want to know.
Yeah, robots. We're decades away from any robot that can offer the real personal care old people need, full-time, 24/7 and 365 days a year. A lot of jobs there.
And then who's going to build the robots? Who's going to grow the food? You do know it takes more people to build and install wind turbines and solar panels than to watch oil come out of the ground. And there's the whole problem of the environment. Not to mention the natural world, slowing and in time reversing the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs, otherwise known as middle-class civilization.