Gray Matters

Indiana’s work force will suffer from a monumental generational shift that will hit the entire nation by the end of this decade, according to an ongoing study title "Gray Matter" at the University of Indianapolis

Accountants, teachers and nurses will be in critically short supply in Indiana within five years as waves of baby boomers retire.

The shift will make the shortage of teachers, accountants, nurses and certain other skilled professionals more acute in Indiana than in much of the rest of the nation because 15 percent or more of workers in those jobs are now ages 55 to 79.

Statistics show most older Hoosiers don’t have the skills needed to fill the shortages, even if retained, and aren’t likely to attain them.

Exacerbating the situation is a failure by employers to plan for the impending shortages.

The health care worker shortage problem, like many others, is not unique to Indiana.

A whopping 33 percent of boomer nurses plan to retire in the next one to three years, according to a study by Medical News Today. And depending on which source is used, boomers make up anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent of the nursing work force nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2020, the nation will have a shortage of up to 1 million nurses.

One workforce expert commented that "there have been organizations that have done demographic analyses and said, . . . ‘We have an entire department here that could have a retirement dinner at the same time."

Read more about Indiana’s work force shortages

Read more about other workforce trends that will change the way you do business at


Ira S Wolfe