New England: Middle-Skill Labor Shortage

A recent study authored by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank Boston identifies several factors that may impede New England’s future economic growth.

  1. New England traditionally experiences net out-migration of its domestic workforce.
  2. Older working-age individuals (55 years of age and older) constitute a higher percentage of New England’s workforce than they do nationwide, suggesting that employers will soon face the need to fill vacated posts.
  3. New England’s population growth remains stagnant; any growth seen in the last decade was due to immigration.
  4. On average, foreign-born workers have lower levels of educational attainment than native-born workers.
  5. New England’s economy continues its shift toward professional service and technological-related sectors that demand specialized skills of their workers.

These factors all point to three primary concerns: will New England’s labor pool have the right mix of skills to (1) replace the aging workforce, (2) fill the labor needs of emerging industries, and (3) prevent high unemployment among a large, under skilled population. These are concerns that no one organization can address; tackling these challenges will require a collaborative approach.

The immigrants we serve are a young and motivated workforce, eager to pursue opportunities they never had in their home country. Their task is to acquire the specialized communication and technical skills that will allow them to play active roles in New England’s evolving and recovering economy. Our role as community investors is to foster that skill development through innovative programming. Join us!

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