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15 Percent of What?

Newsletter • volume 1 • number 6

Only 15 percent of net new workers will be white males. How often has that phrase been quoted since the publication of Workforce 2000?

The statistic sounds doubtful since more than 15 percent of students across the U.S. are white males. But, simple arithmetic shows us how white males are reduced to a mere drop in the workforce bucket. Actually, 32 percent of those entering the workforce will be white males. But 17 percent will leave the workforce due to retirement or death. The net number then becomes 15 percent.

An example of the 15 percent in action was given by our client in the Midwest. Of 41 people choosing early retirement this year, 38 were white males and the other three were white females. It's not hard to tell what the company's hiring practices were like in the 1950's and 1960's to create this composition of eligible retirees in 1992.

Even if your company is not currently hiring, its ethnic composition will change as large numbers of white males leave through retirement. It may be time to look again at existing policies and procedures to ensure their relevance to all your employees.