Saturday, May 28, 2011

Baby boomers are out of here - leaving the work force, with nobody to fill the gap

Demographer Bernard Salt´s new book "The Big Tilt" is out! It tells us that from this year, there will be a fundamental shift in the demography of Australia. More people will now exit rather than enter the workforce. The first group of baby boomers are retiring and they are not being replaced.

Other industrialised nations are similarly affected by an ageing workforce, most notably France, Germany and South Korea. The big tilt impact on Australia, Canada and New Zealand has been modified or at least delayed by immigration, although eventually the boomers retire and the tilting process is set in motion. The same logic applies to the US, although in that market the immigration factor is augmented by a strong birthrate and especially among the Latino and African-American communities.

Salt says "any moderation of the migrant intake needs to take into account the fact boomers are set to retire en masse. And the moderation needs to be scaled-in over a decade to enable the economy and the worker base to readjust."

"The Big Tilt changes everything. It means that what we have come to expect from life in a world of rising consumption, tax and workers will get that much harder in a world of shrinking consumption and tax."

Ouch. Seems like we have tough times ahead...

The Big Tilt: What Happens When the Boomers Bust and Xers and Ys Inherit the Earth by Bernard Salt is published today (Hardie Grant, $29.95).

Article with all the numbers...

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