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Federal Reserve Bank Report Forecasts Labor Shortages in Coming Years

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – A new analysis of the upstate economy finds that some business sectors will experience labor shortages between now and 2012.

The Buffalo Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its latest report Thursday -- this one dealing with impending retirement pressures. The report projects that nearly 16 percent of Buffalo's workforce will retire between 2002 and 2012. And says senior economist Richard Deitz, some business sectors will have a hard time finding replacements.

Compounding the problem in upstate New York is that the "brain drain" has already resulted in a mass exodus of young people to other areas of the country. Deitz says that means this region will find it hard to compete for key workers in high-demand occupations.

Deitz says both employers and workers will have to plan carefully as baby-boomers exit the workforce. He says employers will have to communicate their needs, especially to the education sector, which helps prepare workers. And Deitz says the workers themselves will have to get appropriate training and be flexible enough to move between jobs as employer needs evolve.

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