Six Changes Coming to the Workforce

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BoltNo one knows for sure what the future holds. However, we can make some educated cases about what the workforce will look like in the next 10-20 years. Change is coming to the workforce — in fact, change is already here, and has been developing for the past few years. Where does your company stand? Take a look at these statistics. You might be surprised at what is in store.

1. By the year 2020, 40 percent of the American population will find stability in freelancing, contracting, or temporary work. 

The future workforce will rely more on technology, and freelancing will escalate. Freelancing is not a new idea in the office. However, with the entrance of millennials into the workforce, it has become a serious trend, and it will gain popularity in the next few years. Perhaps the millennial predilection for contract or temporary work will have an impact on the projected rise in less traditional full-time work.

2. One in six Americans will be 65 or older and will continue to work into retirement.

Baby boomers are known for their workaholic attitudes, so it should come as no surprise that their retirement golden years won’t be traditional. Although they will retire from their full-time careers, they will continue to work – or at least volunteer – part-time.

3. 60 percent of CEOs believe machines will replace millions of middle-class jobs in the next 15 years.

Smartphones, computers, tablets, and their offspring have already begun to change the way professionals work. They provide easier access to the mobile office, among other capabilities. In recent years, car manufacturers have incorporated advanced computer systems into their machines, so it makes sense that other equipment will be just as computerized in the future to increase productivity levels.

4. By 2022, the workforce will see a 67.5 percent increase in workers between the ages of 55 and 64.

Because future retirees have a different work ethic than their professional successors, the workforce is expected to see an increase in aging employees. This post-retirement employment isn’t due to necessity; it’s a choice. Only 10 percent of baby boomers are expected to retire later than planned. That’s mostly due to layoffs or medical problems that force them to work later into their golden years.

5. In 2022, young workers will see their lowest employment levels since 1969, at 67.3 percent.

The emerging workforce is already experiencing problems with employment. Young workers graduate college in hopes of immediate employment, but they are lucky to find paid internships.

6. 80 million Baby Boomers will retire in the next 20 years.

The current aging workforce leaves leaders worried, because experienced individuals are beginning to leave their careers. A quarter of a million employees turn 65 every month, and this could have deep economic impacts. The baby boomer generation totals about 75 million people, so the rate of retirement will sky rocket in the next 20 years.

The current workforce is aging, and the next 10-20 years will show us the growing effects of technology. It’s time to prepare for the future of business, and the best way to do that is through statistical projection. As Harvey Mackay said “Your workforce is your most valuable asset. The knowledge and skills they have represent the fuel that drives the engine of business – and you can leverage that knowledge.”

Read more in Workforce Development

Raj Sheth is the CEO and cofounder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, Raj had founded two other web start-ups, namely a classifieds portal and an ecommerce site. He is a graduate of Babson College, M.A., and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) in Boston.