More than 300,000 U.S. accountants and auditors have left their jobs in the past two years, a 17% decline, and the dwindling number of college students coming into the field can’t fill the gap.
The exodus is driven by deeper workplace shifts than baby-boomer retirements. Young professionals in the 25- to 34-year-old range and midcareer professionals between the ages of 45 and 54 also departed in high numbers starting in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recruiters who have been luring experienced accountants into new roles say they are often moving into jobs in finance and technology.
The huge gap between companies that need accountants and trained professionals has led to salary bumps and more temporary workers joining the sector. Still, neither development will fix the fundamental talent pipeline problem: Many college students don’t want to work in accounting. Even those who majored in it.
Author(s): Lindsay Ellis
Publication Date: 28 Dec 2022
Publication Site: WSJ
Michael Chui: Fascinating. You mentioned talent. You recently coauthored a book with Daniel Gross entitled Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World. What was the central thesis of this book?
Tyler Cowen: That talent is remarkably important. That we’re doing a poor job, misallocating talent. And there are a variety of ways, outlined in the book, we can do better. This book tries to be “the” talent book: a one-stop shopping guide to how to think about identifying talent.
Michael Chui: What are the macro implications of [the] lack of good matching? Is this a potential for accelerating productivity, for instance?
Tyler Cowen: We have slower economic growth when we don’t match talent well. We have a lower level of per capita income. When a recession comes, as was the case in 2008, labor markets adjust much more slowly. The consequences for human welfare are considerable.
Author(s): Michael Chui, Tyler Cowen
Publication Date: 28 Sept 2022
Publication Site: McKinsey