uncle-sam.jpgIt may seem like this economic downturn will never end, but it will and job growth will begin again.

Economists have been predicting there will be more jobs than people once the Baby Boomers start to retire, and once the economy turns around we’re supposed to see employment opportunities galore. The jobs they leave behind will need to be filled, everything from education to social services positions. And the aging population has created a demand for more health care, and that means there will be many jobs related to medicine.

Many of these jobs don’t involve sitting behind a desk. And many require emotional connections with people unlike anything you may have experienced at the water cooler.

The question is, will you want to take any of the jobs that will be the most abundant? Do you have the skills, or the desire?

“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,” according to a report called “After the Recovery: Help Needed – The Coming Labor Shortage and How People in Encore Careers Can Help Solve It,” produced by MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures, a group that studies the boomers, work and social purpose.

Here’s a rundown on the top jobs for the coming decade, dominated by health care of course:

HEALTHCARE
*registered nurses
*home health aides
*personal and home care aides
*nursing aides
*orderlies and attendants
*medical assistants
*licensed practical and vocational nurses
*medical and health service managers
EDUCATION
*teachers
*teacher assistants
*child care workers
NONPROFIT/GOVERNMENT
*business operations specialists
*general and operations managers
*receptionists
*information clerk
SOCIAL/HUMAN SERVICES
*clergy
*social and human service assistants

When the economy starts to turn around,

Barry Bluestone, Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University who did the report, predicts that within the next eight years there could be at least 5 million potential job vacancies in the United States, nearly half of them (2.4 million) in social sector jobs in education, health care, government and nonprofit organizations. The loss in total output could limit the growth of needed services and cost the economy as much as $3 trillion over the five-year period beginning in 2018.

So who will pick up the slack?

Civic Ventures, a group that helps promote job opportunities and so-called “encore careers” for Baby Boomers, sees this population as a natural fit. “Engaging workers over 55 in encore careers will be vital to meeting work force shortages and critical social needs,” according to a press release put out this week touting a series of research papers on the topic.

It makes sense because many Boomers have been displaced by a changing economy that has seen a host of industries and jobs decimated, many of which probably aren’t coming back.

But will these jobs draw Boomers? Do they want to be teachers, home-health aides? I’m not sure.

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