Labor Market Imbalances: Shortages, or Surpluses, or Fish Stories?

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There are two competing narratives about the how the labor market in the US will develop over the next decade or two. The Impending Shortage narrative, which has attracted attention from businessand policy groups, is that the retirement of baby boomers will create a great labor shortage. The Globalization Surplus narrative holds that the spread of global capitalism around the world, particularly to China and India, has generated a labor surplus that threatens wages in advanced and higher wage developing countries. This paper assessed the two visions and the demographic and economic projections upon which they are based.

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