Related BLS programs | Related articles
November 2005, Vol. 128, No. 11
Labor force projections to 2014: retiring boomers
The U.S. labor force—the number of persons working or looking for work—is projected to reach 162.1 million in 2014, an increase of nearly 15 million from the size of the labor force in 2004.1 This increase represents an annual growth rate of 1.0 percent, which is 0.2 percent lower than the annual growth rate of the previous decade, 1994–2004. The growth of the labor force is the result of simultaneous changes in the civilian noninstitutional population and the labor force participation rates of the various sex, age, race, and Hispanic origin groups.2 During the 2004–14 period, the growth of the labor force will be due entirely to population growth, as the overall labor force participation rate is expected to decrease slightly from the 2004 level.
The labor force in the next 10 years will be affected by the aging of the baby-boom cohort, those born between 1946 and 1964. This age group will be between 50 and 68 years old in 2014 and is expected to show significant growth over the 2004–14 period, as it did from 2002 to 2012. The labor force will continue to age, with the annual growth rate of the 55-and-older group projected to be 4.1 percent, 4 times the rate of growth of the overall labor force. By contrast, the annual growth rate of the 25-to-54-year age group will be 0.3 percent, and that of the young age group consisting of 16-to-24-year-olds will be essentially flat.
The women’s labor force is expected to grow at an annual rate of 1.0 percent during the 2004–14 projection period. (See table 1.) This rate is slower than the group’s growth rate in the previous decade. Still, during the 2004–14 time frame, the women’s labor force will increase at a slightly faster rate than that of men, whose labor force is projected to grow at an annual rate of 0.9 percent. Men’s share of the labor force is expected to decrease from 53.6 percent to 53.2 percent in 2014. By contrast, the women’s share is projected to increase from 46.4 percent in 2004 to 46.8 percent in 2014.
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 2005 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full article in PDF (134K)
1 The civilian labor force consists of employed and unemployed persons in the civilian noninstitutional population.
2 The civilian labor force participation rate is defined as the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population that is in the labor force.
Related BLS programs
force projections to 2012: the graying of the U.S. workforce—Feb.
Labor force projections to 2010: steady growth and changing composition.—Nov. 2001.
Labor force projections to 2008: steady growth and changing composition.—Nov. 1999.
Labor force 2006: slowing down and changing composition.—Nov. 1997.
2005 labor force: growing, but slowly, The.—Nov. 1995
Another look at the labor force.—Nov. 1993.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers