Long ago in a University far far away a professor expounded on a fact or theory that countries with declining populations were at risk economically because of the fewer available participants in the work force at the age of majority.
Surprisingly enough, that is probably the only thing I took away from whatever the course was about. It tied in with the zero population growth movement in the 1980s and early 1990s. He said France having been a champion of zero population growth for a long time was beginning to realize their mistake when the 18 to 20 year old entering the work force was at an all-time low and the United States was not far behind.
Seems somewhere in the mid-1990s the zero population movement seems to die out as the baby boomers ended and the millennials took over. By 2020 the millennials will be 1 in 3 adults in the United States. That means that the other 2 people will be counted among the aging group and retiring from the work force. From now to 2060 older Americans will double.
One of the things I've seen during my academia years is that people that study a particular theme, especially those that go on to a doctorate, feel the need to complicate or con-volute a part of their specialty in order to qualify for their PhD. In some instances needlessly. With that acquired skill set they are able to pervert what seemingly looks like a simple premise with convoluted logic to achieve a particular end. A mayor of a large city wants to show an improvement in crime rates conveniently directs that certain crimes be removed from the count. The same is true with the employment rates by the government. But, the government takes figuring out what the percentage of people that is not working to greater heights. Let's look at the way a sane man's reasoning would see it.
Take the number of adult people without a job as a percentage of the adult population. Okay, I agree that would not be a fair calculation. There are handicapped and retired persons that don't work. Subtract them out.
How is the unemployment percentages figured out now. I'll give you a link. It is interesting read and in my estimation the calculations are designed to be a political tool for a couple reasons. One is it is so hard to understand. That means the numbers published cannot be proven without great effort which leads to my other reason. It is easy to make small a change the criteria so that it is hardly noticeable and effect is huge in the outcome which is, of course, favorable to their argument. Here is the link.
http://equitablegrowth.org/declining-labor-force-participation-rate-causes-consequences-path-forward/ by Elisabeth Jacobs.
In conclusion, with a smaller youth market reaching majority the unemployment lower wage, summer jobs, second jobs, school years work will suffer. The work participation rate will look pretty good for the young age group up to about 25 but the unfilled jobs will be high. This can be remedied by an immigration work force and/or raising the minimum wage to entice an older demographic to step into those positions.