This is spot on:
According to the latest UN reports, two-thirds of the global population live in countries with below-replacement fertility rates, while average lifespans continue to grow. This means that many populations are rapidly aging, and will soon begin to shrink (if they haven’t already). At the start of this century, 32 countries had a median age above 35 years. By the end of this decade, that number will more than double. And in 25 of those countries, half the population will be more than 45 years old.
Due to falling fertility rates, countries such as China, Canada, Italy, and many more now have fewer new entrants into the workforce every year. As a result, companies are increasingly finding themselves asking older employees to stay on longer. This will necessitate growing investment into training and development to help these older workers acquire new skills, as well as into additional accessibility and safety measures such as wearable exoskeletons to help older workers safely lift heavy loads on farms and in factories.
In addition, as new, younger talent becomes harder to find, many companies are turning to automation to replace or augment certain roles. A slew of companies have begun developing “digital workforce” tools that offer fully virtual sales associates, customer service representatives, and even companions for the elderly. Between growth in AI capabilities and shifting demographic trends, these new technologies have the potential to become an increasingly substantial component of the modern workforce.
Economists push the “old solution” of importing more workers. But this will not be a sustainable solution when most of the world’s countries are shrinking, and the supply of skilled workers interested in relocating to other countries is limited.
Our primary solution will be business process improvements and automation.