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Written by: Michael Bolton on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Posted in:

With national unemployment rates hovering at about 10%, it’s surprising to see that a leading economist is forecasting a labor shortage by 2018.  According to new information published Barry Bluestone, Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, there could be at least 5 million potential job vacancies in the United States by 2018.  Of these, almost 50% are social sector jobs in education, health care, government and nonprofit organizations.

“If the baby boom generation retires from the labor force at the same rate and age as current older workers, the baby bust generation that follows will likely be too small to fill many of the projected new jobs,” states Bluestone’s report, After the Recovery: Help Needed – The Coming Labor Shortage and How People in Encore Careers Can Help Solve It.

Bluestone’s research identified the top 15 occupations that will provide the most potential opportunities over the next decade.  Of the fifteen, seven jobs are in health care, including home health aids and home care aids.

With the number of consumers receiving home and community-based services potentially doubling or tripling in less than a decade, it’s no surprise that the labor supply for home care specialists will struggle to keep up with demand.  For those young adults just entering the workforce or others looking for a career change, aging services is likely fertile job hunting ground.

For more information about Bluestone’s research and report, check out this MetLife Foundation press release here.