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Job Growth Seen as Anemic as Workforce Ages

Wall Street Journal (12/08/15) Jeffrey Sparshott

The economy is expected to generate 9.8 million new jobs from 2014 to 2024, a 6.5% increase, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While steady, that is a historically slow pace. Comparatively, 10-year job creation averaged almost 14% during the 2001-07 expansion, and close to 17% during the 1990s. The sluggishness reflects declining workforce participation as Baby Boomers retire and younger Americans opt out of employment. Those two trends are expected to continue to push the labor-force participation rate lower, to 60.9% in 2024 from 62.9% in 2014, the department estimates, which would mark the lowest level since 1973. DOL forecasts that the slowdown of labor-force growth will result in gross domestic product growth slowing from over 3.0% before the financial crisis to approximately 2.2% annually over the next 10 years.