Aging Americans Means Shrinking Workforce
Americans are getting older, and family size is getting smaller. That means the United States will have less working adults in the future.
By 2030, twenty percent of U.S. residents will be 66 years of age or older. That compares to 13 percent in 2010, and just under 10 percent in 1970.
The aging population could be a concern if Americans expect to have an expanding population, says David Kelly. He is with the investment company J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
"If you're investing in things like the housing industry or the auto industry and you need an ever-growing population, then you have to adjust to a world in which the U.S. population is growing more slowly," he said.
Different studies show that an aging population cuts into economic growth, and older workers who stay on the job are often less productive than younger ones.
But as Americans are aging, last year the birth rate nationwide dropped to its lowest level in 32 years. Less than 3.8 million babies were born in 2018, which is two percent less than the year before. Taken as a whole, the population grew only six-tenths of one percent in 2018, compared to 1.2 percent growth in the 1990s.
Kelly said the low birth rate is not necessarily bad news. Looking beyond economics, a growing world population could do more damage to Earth's environment. He said that U.S. policy makers should plan for dealing with a smaller workforce.
"We really should adapt to a world of slow population growth because it's clearly happening to us," he said.
What will replace human workers? Like others, Kelly expects the lack of workers to fuel the growth of robotics and artificial intelligence. He said that Americans need to prepare for the U.S. economic growth to slow a little in the future.
Another way to fix the shrinking workforce is to add more legal immigrants. Immigrants usually arrive in the United States when they are of working age.
But this is not an easy solution, because the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump continue to disagree over how to deal with immigration issues.
The U.S. economy can easily make changes to deal with the slower population growth, Kelly said. But he worries that politics could get in the way of solutions.
"The real question is a political question," he notes, "because it seems even as our population matures in years, it seems that our political system gets less mature in terms of thought process."
I'm Anne Ball.
1.population growth 人口增长
What factors drive or constrain population growth in prehistory and history?
2.cut into 打断；侵犯
You should not cut into their conversation.
3.adapt to 适应
The world will be different, and we will have to be prepared to adapt to the change.
4.artificial intelligence 人工智能
They have made great progress in machine translation and artificial intelligence.
5.The U.S. economy can easily make changes to deal with the slower population growth, Kelly said.
deal with 处理；应付
She saw a psychiatrist who used hypnotism to help her deal with her fear.
The President said the agreement would allow other vital problems to be dealt with.
6.But he worries that politics could get in the way of solutions.
get in the way 阻碍；妨碍
Can is go along with you? I won't get in the way.
In all this politics will definitely get in the way.
美国老龄化愈加严重，家庭规模也逐渐缩小 。这意味着未来美国的成年劳动力会日益减少 。
到2030年，20%的美国居民将年满或年逾66岁 。相比之下，2010年的这一比例只有13%，而1970年还不到10% 。
大卫·凯利（David Kelly）表示，如果美国人希望人口不断增长，人口老龄化可能会成为问题 。凯利就职于摩根资产管理公司 。
但是随着美国人口老龄化，去年美国的出生率降至32年来的最低水平 。2018年出生的婴儿数量不足380万，比上一年减少2% 。从整体来看，2018年美国人口增长率只有0.6%，而上世纪90年代的增长率为1.2% 。
凯利表示，低出生率并不一定就是坏消息 。撇开经济影响，人口不断增长可能会给地球环境造成更大的破坏 。他说，美国的政策制定者应该计划应对劳动力减少问题 。
什么将会取代人类劳动力？与其他人一样，凯利预计劳动力缺乏将推动机器人技术和人工智能发展 。他说，美国人必须为美国经济增长未来略微放缓做好准备 。
解决劳动力萎缩的另一途径是增加更多的合法移民 。移民通常会在就业年龄来到美国 。
凯利表示，美国经济很容易做出改变，以应对人口增长放缓 。但他担心政治因素会成为阻碍 。