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2012 Apocalypse

August 18, 2010
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More crazy people are going on and on about impending doom in 2012. No I don't mean the doom that spells the end of the human race, I mean the mass retirement of the baby boomers.
Per this story on ABC News, an Aviation Week study showed 20% of STEM employees are now at retirement age with that expected to increase to approximately 30% in 2012. Aerospace companies like Raytheon and Boeing continue to worry about the mere 70,000 bachelors degrees awarded in engineering each year and the expected shortfall in US Citizens able to take on defense work.

"I have a lot of positions, but a lot of times I may not be able to fill them because I don't have U.S. citizens," said Lisa Kollar, executive director of career services at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, one of the top U.S. schools for aerospace recruitment.

Anyone out of work right now has heard that piece of crap already. Even with 10% unemployment companies are still complaining they can't find qualified talent to hire. It generally means they don't want to hire and would prefer working people to the bone. But for engineers I'll make an exception and say the other competing factor is employers want US Citizens working for H1B visa prices. You can't have your cake and eat it too, employers.

More importantly the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) put out this report about actual readiness for retirees. Even out of the richest quartile of Americans, and talking only about early baby boomers who are currently the most prepared to retire, 20% are still "at risk" for not having "adequate" retirement income. More average income people are in the 35%-50% at risk range. After 20 years of retirement it's estimated 30%-45% of middle income earners will run out of money. Boomers would need to save an additional 25% of their retirement portfolio to have a mere 50% chance of having adequate funds to retire on.

Unfortunately, given their proximity to retirement age, the median Early Boomer percentage for the lowest-income quartile exceeds 25 percent of compensation. This suggests that at least one-half of the households in this age/income cohort will need to find alternative solutions to the problem of securing retirement income adequacy.

What kind of solutions? Probably working longer. And averting the 2012 apocalypse.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 4:49 pm

    I wish they would put their money where their mouth is and promote STEM programs in schools instead of sitting back and whining about the lack of employable talent. Plus they should call it how it really is and say that they can't find the PERFECT candidate with the exact right skills that their ridiculous job reqs ask for. The only way they are going to solve their problems is OTJ training of people with lesser skills (which had to happen at SOME point in history, right?) and possibly increasing pay to entice citizens with the right skills (quite the opposite of what they'd really like…H1Bs being allowed to work there).

  2. August 22, 2010 4:58 am

    haha, we've been "running out of engineers" for decades now. Except we haven't. Pardon me if I do not join the 2012 apocalypse panic.

  3. August 27, 2010 2:02 pm

    You're missing the point here! Employers can't let unemployment fall below 10%! That's the natural rate!!! If unemployment falls below 10%, workers start thinking they can have fair wages, benefits, days off, reasonable hours… All kinds of unthinkable things that we've spent the last 30 years working hard to stamp out. Well, stamping out so that people can work harder, anyway.Employ unemployed people… Realy, what kind of world do you think we live in?

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