Is there a severe labor shortage looming for the United States? It depends whom you ask. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a labor force of 162.3 million people by 2012. At the same time, the BLS predicts that the 2012 economy will require 165.3 million jobs to be filled.
For years, doomsayers have interpreted these statistics to mean the economy will experience a shortage of 3 million workers. But this simply isn't true, insisted Michael W. Horrigan in the February 2004 issue of the BLS' Monthly Labor Review.Horrigan wrote that multiple job holding and statistical differences between the BLS and Current Employment Statistics surveys, not an impending labor shortage, account for the differences between the numbers.