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Equilibrium in Workforce Supply & Demand Is Exception Today, Not the Norm, Study Says

Every economy's ability to compete depends on a steady supply of human capital and talent. When that supply is inadequate, imbalances result, creating serious threats not only to the economy but also to social and political stability and future development. This impact, moreover, extends beyond borders.

Over the past few years, the Boston Consulting Group has examined workforce supply-and-demand dynamics in 25 major economies (including the G20) through 2030. Today, these countries collectively account for more than 2 billion economically active people, or around 65 percent of the world’s population—and more than 80 percent of total world GDP.

Trends across the 25 economies studied are alarming: an equilibrium in supply and demand is rapidly becoming the exception, not the norm. Between 2020 and 2030, it is projected that significant worldwide labor-force imbalances—shortfalls, in particular – will occur. One significant implication is the potential aggregate value of GDP squandered, because either these nations cannot fill the jobs available or they cannot create enough jobs for the workers they have. This represents a stunning $10tr—around 60 percent of U.S. GDP and more than 10 percent of total world GDP (according to the latest available 2013 figures).

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