In most instances, “brain drain” refers to when highly skilled and talented workers emigrate from their home countries to work in other nations. However, according to an infographic created by MBA@UNC, an online MBA program from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the U.S. economy is facing a slightly different form of brain drain today: baby boomers aren’t leaving the country, but they are leaving the workforce in vast numbers.
Over the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day, according to MBA@UNC’s infographic. And while many baby boomers are choosing to stay in the workforce past the traditional age of retirement, many others are choosing to leave the “rat race” behind.
This leaves the U.S. economy in a bit of a predicament: as baby boomers retire, they leave industries like engineering, finance, and defense manufacturing in need of new talent to make up for their losses. According to MBA@UNC, this situation, if unaddressed, will create labor shortages. In fact, 62 percent of employers at Fortune 1000 companies believe that retirements will lead to labor shortages over the next five years.
But all hope is not lost: according to MBA@UNC, companies can leverage baby boomers now — before they retire — to pass on the necessary skills and knowledge to newer, younger workers, who will then be prepared to take over for the boomers when they leave, mitigating the risk of labor shortages.
For a full rundown of the situation — as well as some insights into how companies can combat the potential labor shortages caused by the baby boomer brain drain — take a look at the full infographic: