Business 2.0 made the supposed coming employment boom the cover story for its September issue. (Catch it soon online; it'll go away before you know it.)
Now comes a study from Peter Cappelli, professor of management at Wharton, saying there ain't no such labor shortage coming. Cappelli says that the size of the baby bust following the baby boomers is simply not small enough to offset other factors like boomers working past age 65 and the greater proportion of youngsters graduating from college.
People keep talking about the 'coming labor shortfall.' Well, they were talking about the 'coming shortfall' 10 years ago, and they're still talking about it today, but we haven't seen it. Demographics don't drive labor markets. Demographic changes are gradual and predictable, and the economy and the labor force have enough time to adjust to them."
Cappelli suggests that employers work to improve their inadequate human-resources capabilities rather than fret over a non-existent shortage of workers. . . "The real issue then will be to have a system of practices in place of finding good people, hiring them when you need them and keeping the good ones."
So the positions that employers should be working on filling with the best people and training for performance right now are in HR. Surprise, surprise.