With the current unemployment rate reaching as low as 4% and talent being harder than ever to find and keep, you may be hard-pressed to research what the future holds and what it means for your business. The Korn Ferry Institute has an answer.

The Korn Ferry Institute conducted a study that suggests labor shortages will worsen over the next 10 years. It will lead to tens of millions of worker deficits across the globe and impact us here in the United States significantly. Korn Ferry projects a global 85 million worker deficit and $8.452 trillion in unrealized revenue by 2030, outstripping many European countries’ current numbers. This will have a significant impact on the United States, more than most other countries suffering from talent shortages. Korn Ferry found that the United States will reach a “significant deficit” of workers, ranging from 6 to 12 million, by 2030.

The study outlines which industries will be the most impacted by the talent shortages: financial and business services; technology, media, and telecommunications; and manufacturing.


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Financial and Business Services

The Korn Ferry study outlines that this sector will be the most impacted business sector in the United States. The United States is projected to suffer the most with this sector’s deficit. Korn Ferry predicts the worker deficit will be 1.2 million and above by 2030. The United States is also projected to pass $435 billion in this sector’s unrealized output. The United States, along with Brazil, are the most at-risk countries that will be affected by this sector’s talent deficit.[1]


Technology, Media, and Telecommunications

The United States will face significant worker deficits in the technology, media, and telecommunications sector by 2030 as well. According to Korn Ferry, the United States will have a talent deficit between 600,000 and 1.2 million in the TMT sector over the next 10 years. The Korn Ferry study suggests that “[t]he United States, currently the world’s leading technology market, can expect to lose out on $162.25 billion by 2030 due to sector skills shortages, [and] these talent deficits may imperil America’s status as the global tech center.”[2]



While the United States will be less impacted by a manufacturing talent shortage, it should not be entirely ignored. A talent shortage in this sector is already occurring and is expected to increase over the next 10 years. Korn Ferry estimates that the United States’ manufacturing sector will to see a deficit of 383,000 workers by 2030. This industry will also see unrealized output reach up to $73 billion.[3]


Shortage Causes

The Korn Ferry Institute attributes much of the talent shortages in the United States to a steady increase in retiring baby-boomer workers. They estimate that 10,000 baby-boomers will reach retirement age every day for the next 19 years. This will result in massive reductions of every sector if the demand is not met.[4]

The Korn Ferry Institute also hints that highly-skilled workers will be the most in-demand by 2030, with financial and business services being the hardest-hit sector. This may suggest that workers are not being given enough opportunities to train for higher-skilled positions. As the American Staffing Association has found in their research for the ASA Workforce Monitor, unemployed job seekers think that job training is critical to their ability to find jobs.[5]


Staying Ahead

You can stay ahead of the talent shortage. It isn’t impossible, even if it seems like it is right now. If you’re looking to attract the best light industrial workers, we have a blog post especially for you.

A key aspect to finding talented people in a tight labor market is searching for ideal soft skills. This is applicable to every industry. Even if an individual doesn’t have experience in the position, take a look at their soft skills. They may have some that would be perfect for your company. It doesn’t hurt to shift your focus away from experience and hard skills to look for an individual who has the ideal soft skills. Training them in the job duties can come later.

Investing in the future is also critical. A good way to do that is to expand training programs for your current and prospective employees in order to give them more opportunities within your company. This provides your employees with inner mobility and gives them an incentive to stay loyal to you.