[ti:Aging Americans Means Shrinking Workforce]
[00:00.01]Americans are getting older, and family size is getting smaller.
[00:07.68]That means the United States will have less working adults in the future.
[00:15.51]By 2030, twenty percent of U.S. residents will be 66 years of age or older.
[00:26.61]That compares to 13 percent in 2010, and just under 10 percent in 1970.
[00:37.26]The aging population could be a concern
[00:41.63]if Americans expect to have an expanding population, says David Kelly.
[00:49.76]He is with the investment company J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
[00:56.49]"If you're investing in things like the housing industry or the auto industry
[01:04.48]and you need an ever-growing population, then you have to adjust
[01:11.12]to a world in which the U.S. population is growing more slowly," he said.
[01:19.56]Different studies show that an aging population cuts into economic growth,
[01:28.96]and older workers who stay on the job are often less productive than younger ones.
[01:38.60]But as Americans are aging,
[01:42.31]last year the birth rate nationwide dropped to its lowest level in 32 years.
[01:51.95]Less than 3.8 million babies were born in 2018,
[01:59.82]which is two percent less than the year before.
[02:04.93]Taken as a whole, the population grew only six-tenths of one percent in 2018,
[02:14.96]compared to 1.2 percent growth in the 1990s.
[02:22.25]Kelly said the low birth rate is not necessarily bad news.
[02:29.77]Looking beyond economics,
[02:32.58]a growing world population could do more damage to Earth's environment.
[02:40.06]He said that U.S. policy makers should plan for dealing with a smaller workforce.
[02:49.63]"We really should adapt to a world of slow population growth
[02:57.52]because it's clearly happening to us," he said.
[03:02.10]What will replace human workers?
[03:06.44]Like others, Kelly expects the lack of workers
[03:12.24]to fuel the growth of robotics and artificial intelligence.
[03:18.65]He said that Americans need to prepare
[03:22.60]for the U.S. economic growth to slow a little in the future.
[03:29.08]Another way to fix the shrinking workforce is to add more legal immigrants.
[03:36.83]Immigrants usually arrive in the United States when they are of working age.
[03:43.75]But this is not an easy solution, because the U.S. Congress
[03:50.79]and President Donald Trump continue to disagree over how to deal with immigration issues.
[03:59.89]The U.S. economy can easily make changes to deal with the slower population growth, Kelly said.
[04:09.29]But he worries that politics could get in the way of solutions.
[04:16.14]"The real question is a political question," he notes,
[04:22.11]"because it seems even as our population matures in years,
[04:28.27]it seems that our political system gets less mature in terms of thought process."
[04:37.65]I'm Anne Ball. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM