Labor shortages, skills mismatches, and inter-generational resentment are only symptoms of a larger trend - the largest demographic transition since the Industrial Revolution. As the median Baby Boomer approaches retirement age and the much smaller Gen Z replaces them, the way society approaches working, learning, and caring for the young and the elderly will change.
As Baby Boomers leave the workforce, key industries like manufacturing, construction, and air transportation are feeling the most acute effects. There will be a decades-long mismatch between supply and demand for certain skills, and from that arises the need to augment or retool the existing labor force towards these talent-starved sectors.
Millennials are finally in for their big break. In addition to entering their peak earning years, many of them will simultaneously become beneficiaries of the largest wealth transfer in history. To facilitate this, there will be a new wave of financial services and platforms that will help facilitate generational transfers and manage newfound wealth.
Willingness to spend money and time on [social media, games, [dating], messaging apps and even hardware] is no longer clearly demarcated by a generational divide, but by other factors. Digital content and hardware developers have the opportunity to adapt existing games and media from being centered solely around younger generations, towards the needs of everyone.
With the demographics of the U.S. following trends seen decades ago in Europe and East Asia, there are companies and innovations that arose to serve the needs of those regions, from robotics to new elder care models, that will be a good guide to what will be successful stateside.