Economic Outlook Article-Saratoga Business Journal January 2014

2014 will continue to be a transitional year for employment.  Although there will be an uptick o hiring, employers are still hesitant to bring on associates due to outside factors including the upcoming Affordable Care Act and Washington’s debt ceiling dilemma.  In employment trends, the multigenerational labor market will be a major factor in hiring in 2014.  Broken down by generation, each facet offers a variety of different approaches to employment. It will be the job of HR Management to coordinate how each will work in the 2014 labor force.

Traditionalist/World War II Generation (Born 1945 and before):  Working mainly in part-time positions, Traditionalist emphasis retirement package and benefits. HR professionals will need to create specific training tools to accommodate these workers.  The retirement of these employees will not cause much ripple effect in employment as they only make up 5 of the labor market.

Compelling message received during their formative years according to AARP: Make do or do without.

Baby Boomer Generation (Born 1946-1964):  Currently the largest segment of the labor market at 38%, large number of baby boomers are anticipated to leave the workforce around the same time causing a decrease rate of growth in the overall labor force.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipated that there will be 54.8 million total job openings from 2010-2020.  Nearly 65% of those jobs will be replacements of retiring workers.

That being said, there will also be less opportunities for subsequent generations as the number of Baby Boomers who have elected to stay in the workforce increases.  HR professionals have started developing education and training programs to maintain an older generation’s skill level while actively developing the next generation of employees.

Compelling message received during their formative years according to AARP: Be anything you want to be.

Generation X (Born 1965-1980): Holding 32% of the labor market, Generation X is sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial Generations. Generation X employees will be responsible for providing care to elderly parents along with their own children.  Generation X’ers believe in gaining skills that they can take with them to other institutions, as they are cautious about investing in relationships with employers. Members of the generation are constantly re-evaluating career paths.  HR professionals will have to accommodate schedules and offer flexibility for employees.

Compelling message received during their formative years according to AARP: Don’t count on it.

Millennial Generation (Born 1981-2000):  Although the largest generation at 27.7% of the population according to the UA Census Bureau, Millennials hold only 25% of the labor market. This will change as more positions become available by retiring Baby Boomers and by the creation of new positions. Millennials are adept at utilizing multiple types of communication tactics such as meetings, e-mail, instant messaging and HR professionals will need to use multiple training styles such as discussion groups, one-on-one coaching with feedback and online learning.

Compelling message received during their formative years according to AARP: You are special.

For the first time ever, four generations will be sharing the labor market, this poses very specific challenges in the workforce.  2014 will considered a transition year marked by slow but steady increase of available positions along with the need to accommodate varying types of employees. Multigenerational workforces will continue to be the norm.

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