The coming workforce crisis

Great TED talk: The workforce crisis of 2030 — and how to start solving it now.

Executive summary: we know now that Malthus and Ehrlich were well-intentioned but wrong. World population isn’t going to spiral out of control; instead, the UN expects it to plateau around 9 billion. After that, the story won’t be population growth but demographic shift, as average age increases and the workforce shrinks.

Automation and technology will replace more jobs and pick up some of the slack, but only some, and unevenly at best. Worse, the steady trickle of new jobs they create will demand modern skills that our aging workforce is ill-equipped to provide.

So much for Population Bomb and China’s one child policy. May you live in interesting times!