U.S. States: For Richer, For Poorer? Winning the battle for talent and securing our standard of living

Source: Accenture, 2014

From the press release:
According to Accenture, the U.S. standard of living is in danger of declining by 9 percent by 20301 – back to the level it was in 2000 – due to three major economic threats: an aging population, lower workforce participation and a flat or declining labor productivity growth rate. The Accenture analysis is outlined in a new report, U.S. States: For Richer, For Poorer? Winning the battle for talent and securing our standard of living, which advocates that state governments develop and execute strategies to ensure a sufficient supply of talent to meet the country’s workforce demands. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, current workforce participation rates are at their lowest since 1977. …

….Accenture identified three factors threatening the U.S. standard of living:

Population: As Baby Boomers retire, the working age population (15- to 64-years-old) is shrinking as a share of the total population. By 2030, the working age population could shrink by 9 percent, declining to a 1970 level.

Participation: There are not enough people of working-age actually working today, driven in part by youth unemployment (16- to 24-years-old).

Productivity: States are facing an unreliable growth rate in workforce productivity, which has fallen below 1 percent for five of the past 10 years and is now at one of its lowest points since 1960.

Accenture’s analysis, as well as survey findings, point to several factors affecting participation and productivity growth rates: Employers are not finding the skills they need for open positions, the long-term increase in high school and college graduation rates is forecast to end and more than half of recent college graduates consider themselves either under-employed or working in positions that do not require their college degrees…..

…Recommendations for Action
The report recommends a number of strategies and tools to increase workforce participation and accelerate productivity growth, including:

Real-time information on the demand and supply of skills and competencies. Today’s jobs and skill needs are different from those in the past, making historical data an unreliable predictor of future talent demand or supply. Accenture recommends that states provide real-time, skill- based information about jobs that are in high demand and promote the workforce qualifications needed to fill those jobs; this will result in better directing employers to the right pools of talent, helping job seekers match their skills with employer needs, and engaging educators to focus on developing the employment skills needed for today’s economy.

Talent supply pipelines. States should create talent supply pipelines that can provide employers, including government, with reliable access to the skills and competencies they need.

Roadmaps showing pathways to jobs. States should offer every job seeker a personalized road map that shows him or her how to put unique talents to work to gain the skills and competencies needed for the desired job.

United talent agenda focused on increasing standard of living. States should create a unified, statewide talent agenda that pulls together all related agencies, programs and budgets that focuses on increasing the standard of living….