Annual US Population Growth Is Declining – Here’s Why Employers Should Be Concerned

Struggling to find qualified candidates? Blame demographics.

US birth rates are declining.

In the 1970s, the total fertility rate dropped below the replacement rate, as boomers averaged fewer than two children per woman. What’s more, with the exception of 2014, the number of US births declined every year between 2008 and 2021.

Fewer babies being born means fewer workers to take over for retirees – and the impact of this decades-long trend is now being felt in our workforce.

To compound the problem, fewer immigrants are coming to the United States.

In decades past, employers often relied on immigration to offset population decline and fill workforce gaps. But these days, high-demand roles in the US are just as in demand around the world. It’s becoming tougher than ever to compete for top talent internationally      because countries we’ve traditionally relied on are dealing with their own talent shortages:

  • 65% of Mexico’s large companies reported talent shortages.
  • 63% of India’s companies also face major talent shortages.
  • China posted a 48% percent shortage in critical areas of manufacturing.

Oh, and it gets worse.

Women have dropped out of the US workforce in droves. In the wake of the pandemic, millions of women were forced to leave the workforce because of childcare issues, and because the industries where they work were hard hit by the pandemic.

Add in rampant turnover (thanks to the Great Resignation), and what do you have? A perfect storm for the US workforce.

The issues are real – but so are the solutions.

There are no signs of a population upswing anytime soon. As an employer, there’s legitimate cause for concern – but the issues are manageable. How can you find the workers your organization needs?

Use these tips from PrideStaff to combat the impact of declining population growth:

  • Tap into hidden sources of talent. Countless people are willing to work, but many face obstacles that prevent them from finding employment. Cast a wider recruiting net by considering these potential sources of great candidates:
    • Caregivers, students, or retirees seeking part-time or flexible work.
    • Veterans looking for post-retirement opportunities.
    • Military reserves needing jobs that will accommodate training schedules.
    • Individuals with disabilities, chronic health issues, or mental health challenges.
    • Those with employment gaps, a history of substance abuse, or ex-offenders who just need an employer to give them a chance.

Scrutinize your recruiting methods (e.g., where you advertise your jobs to the way you write job postings) to ensure you’re not unintentionally discouraging candidates in these categories from applying.

  • Take a more proactive approach to sourcing talent. Sourcing qualified candidates in today’s market may take longer than anticipated. So rather than waiting for projects to start or orders to come in, begin recruiting well in advance of your needs. By developing a pool of qualified candidates, you’ll be better prepared when you need to hire.
  • Plug the leaks in your candidate funnel. Critically examine your entire hiring process. If yours is difficult or lengthy, you’re losing great people. Look for ways to simplify your application, screening, interviewing, and selection processes – without compromising quality.
  • Partner with PrideStaff. With decades of experience and a national presence, we’re the perfect partner to help you meet today’s – and tomorrow’s – workforce challenges. Our experts can customize a staffing strategy for your business that ensures timely access to the specialized talent you need.

Looking for more ways to address the impact of population decline on your workforce?

Download our FREE report: Building Your Talent Pipeline to Compete in the Sansdemic. This in-depth whitepaper is filled with practical strategies to help you attract and keep the best employees during a talent drought.

And if you need help finding great people, we’re here for you. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more.