Why Are Execs Musk, Zuckerberg, Smith Concerned About The Future Of The US Workforce?

Zinger Key Points
  • The number of people entering the workforce has been slowing, says Microsoft's president.
  • “That helps explain part of why you can have low growth and a labor shortage at the same time," he says.

Microsoft Corporation MSFT President Brad Smith expressed concern about the future of the workforce in a recent interview with Reuters.

U.S. companies are in a “new era,” with few people entering the workforce and employees pressuring employers to pay higher salaries, he said. 

Since the 1950s, the trend has been 5 million people entering the workforce every five years, he said, adding that starting in 2016, the trend slowed to 2 million people every five years, citing United Nations data. 

That helps explain part of why you can have low growth and a labor shortage at the same time. There just aren’t as many people entering the workforce,” Smith said. 

The labor shortages could be attributed to government stimulus during the pandemic, COVID-19 health concerns and lack of available child care, among other factors. 

Other executives such as Meta Platforms, Inc META CEO Mark Zuckerberg are worried about the state of the U.S. economy. Zuckerberg warned the U.S. could face “one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history.”

While Zuckerberg remains concerned about a possible recession, Smith said it is premature to declare a U.S. recession inevitable. 

Tesla, Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk has said that birth rates are too low in the United States, causing labor shortages. 

Microsoft Taking Action: As the cloud based tech giant competes for limited workers, the company has boosted pay and slowed hiring.

The company laid off a small percentage of staff at the start of its fiscal year. 

Microsoft is closely managing its payroll as the company sets up to weather possible economic challenges in the coming months.

MSFT Price Action: Microsoft is down 0.22% Monday, trading at $256.16, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo: Courtesy of Washington State Dept of Transportation on flickr.

Posted In: TechMediaBrad SmithElon MuskemploymentlaborMark ZuckerbergReuters