Our Aging Infrastructure is more than you might think

When people hear the term aging infrastructure I suspect several items come to mind. The first might be highways, joined by bridges, and also be utilities such as water and wastewater. Add to that the increasing demand on the electrical grid and you have a perfect storm of enormous consequences.
I would suggest to you that the biggest aging infrastructure item we need to contend with is the exodus from the workforce of thousands, no make that millions of baby boomers who will either fully retire or do something other than their current day job to pass the time, earn a few dollars or make a difference in their communities.

A recent article in Forbes shares the following quote:
The retirement of experienced Baby Boomers will create a talent gap and brain drain in the U.S. labor market, as their in-depth, 30-plus years of industry knowledge will go out the door with them. As senior professionals leave the workforce, it could lead to a shortage of workers.

The article goes on to say that over 20% of those 65 and older in our country were still employed in 2023. That has doubled in the last 35 years. The fear is that more and more of this cohort may begin to fully retire and when they do, the consequences for our country will be dire.

Let me drill down into two specific careers that are adversely affected by this aging, the engineering and accounting world. Google AI resources shared the following:

The engineering workforce has been aging rapidly in recent years, with nearly a quarter of engineers approaching retirement age and not enough new graduates to replace them

Here is a statement about accounting (CPA) roles from Google AI:

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) reports that 75% of CPAs are at retirement age, and the average age of a CPA is 52–53 years old. Many accounting firms require CPAs to retire at 65 or 66, so a significant number of CPAs are about to retire within the next decade or two.

My intent today is to share the details and to make you aware of the dire consequences of these areas. Future posts will discuss ways to counter this challenge, one that is much more difficult to remedy when compared to roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure.

What are you doing to help upgrade the aging human capital infrastructure in your workplace? How are you redesigning and allowing flexibility to enable older employees to work longer?