Job Market Will Look toward Baby Boomers, Think Tank Predicts Downsizing Is out; a New Trend Emerges

Article excerpt

Older workers, often pushed out the door amid the corporate layoffs of the 1980s and 1990s, are likely to emerge over coming years as hot prospects in the job market.

That's one of the main conclusions of a new study by the Hudson Institute, an influential think tank, focusing on major trends expected to shape the work force through 2020.

Starting shortly after the current decade ends, "employers are going to have to make a 180-degree paradigm shift from the 1980s downsizing mentality, when the urge was to slim down and collapse the managerial hierarchy," said Richard W. Judy, a co-author of Hudson's Workforce 2020 study, during an interview Friday. Instead, said Judy, 64, employers will overhaul their workplaces and employment practices to find ways to hire and retain aging baby boomers - or, as he calls them, "geezer boomers." The 158-page study by Hudson, a conservative nonprofit group based in Indianapolis, is expected to carry substantial weight among big employers and public policy-makers. It is a follow-up to Hudson's ballyhooed 1987 study, Workforce 2000, which predicted a substantial increase of women, minorities and immigrants into the labor force and helped galvanize workplace diversity programs across the country to deal with the dem ographic changes. Increase In Diversity On that score, the new Hudson report anticipates a continuing, albeit gradual, increase in women and minorities in the workplace. …