Future Skill Shortages in the U.S. Economy?

David Neumark, Hans P. Johnson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia

NBER Working Paper No. 17213
Issued in July 2011
NBER Program(s):   AG   LS

The impending retirement of the baby boom cohort represents the first time in the history of the United States that such a large and well-educated group of workers will exit the labor force. This could imply skill shortages in the U.S. economy. We develop near-term labor force projections of the educational demands on the workforce and the supply of workers by education to assess the potential for skill imbalances to emerge. Based on our formal projections, we see little likelihood of skill shortages emerging by the end of this decade. More tentatively, though, skill shortages are more likely as all of the baby boomers retire in later years, and skill shortages are more likely in the near-term in states with large and growing immigrant populations.

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This paper was revised on August 24, 2012

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17213

Published: Neumark, David & Johnson, Hans & Mejia, Marisol Cuellar, 2013. "Future skill shortages in the U.S. economy?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 151-167. citation courtesy of

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