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Four Jobs Left Behind by Baby Boomers

Posted By timparker On 11/10/2011 @ 12:15 pm In Career | 11 Comments

They’re 76 million strong and still make up one third of the workforce. They’re nearing retirement and their jobs will be up for grabs, or at least should be. Here’s how the math works out, generally speaking, of course.

There are 76 million in the baby boomer generation but only 46 million in the generation after them. You know them as the Generation X population. If the Gen. Xers move in to the positions held by the hard working baby boomers, that still leave a surplus of 30 million jobs for the taking.

Could the nation’s unemployment woes be solved largely be baby boomers retiring? According to CNN “only” 7.9 million jobs were lost due to the recession so surely, this extra 30 million will have a significant effect, won’t it?

The figures only work in the most general sense. According to The Alliance for American Manufacturing and Economic Policy Institute, 2.5 million jobs have been lost from outsourcing to other countries and another 3 million lost to robotic technology since 2000. The rate of acceleration of this trend is unknown but most agree that there will be no reversal of either of these trends as technology rapidly evolves and more emerging nations battle for manufacturing jobs from American companies.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are plenty of jobs that can’t be outsourced and are much less in danger of being lost to a robot and as baby boomers retire, these jobs will be there for the taking. Not sure what to do with your life? Here are a few ideas.

Farmers

People don’t want to be farmers any more although technology has made it a little less back breaking than generations ago. 68.5% of farmers are now over the age of 45 making it the oldest profession. Populations are growing , food prices are going up, and farmland is scarce. The job doesn’t come with a suit and corner office but it does come with the equivalent earning power of some of the top tier jobs.

Nurses

Not only are the boomers going to leave their nursing job, 73 million Americans are at the age where they will need more medical care. In 2010 there were 4.6 people working for every one person retired. That ratio goes down to 2.8 to 1 by 2030. Large shortages of nurses is projected by the time that worker to retiree ratio reaches a critical point.

Lawyers

Doesn’t the world have enough lawyers? Not even close, say industry insiders. More than 57,000 retire each year and replacing them is becoming increasingly difficult due to lower law school enrollment.

Real Estate

Real Estate may be a 10 letter phrase to many but it won’t be spoken with such distain forever. Real estate professionals including surveyors, realtors, and appraisers are well in to their 40s and with the downturn in the housing market, some have elected early retirement. When the market recovers, there will be a large shortage.

If you’re young and still planning your future or you’ve been in the workforce and you’re making a new career move, there are some jobs that are less sensitive to economic conditions than others. While it’s true that you should do what you enjoy, think about the future need for your career choice as you consider your options. Jobs like these have proven themselves to be good long term choices regardless of the economy.


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