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Spring 2001 Vol. 45, Number 1

Occupations with the greatest retiree replacement needs, projected 1998-2008

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the aging of “baby boomers”—persons born between 1946 and 1964—to increase the labor force proportion of those aged 45 and older from 33 percent in 1998 to 40 percent in 2008. Occupations with large numbers of workers who were 45 years old or older in 1998 are expected to have the greatest need to replace workers who retire over the 1998-2008 decade. 

The 10 occupations likely to be most affected by baby-boomer retirements are all large occupations with large proportions of boomers among their ranks. Six of the occupations compose nearly half of the employment in educational services: three teaching occupations, janitors and cleaners, secretaries, and educational administrators. Education occupations are particularly likely to have large numbers of retirements because workers in public education—like most public sector employees—are covered by pensions that allow retirement at age 55 for those with a required number of years of service.

Occupations with the greatest retiree replacement needs, projected 1998-2008

For more information, see Arlene Dohm's article, "Gauging the labor force effects of retiring baby-boomers," in the Monthly Labor Review, July 2000, page 17-25, available from the Superintendent of Documents, (202)512-1800, or online at The data for this chart are from table 2 page 20.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: June 27, 2001