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Employers—who have been lulled into complacency by the demands of economic, stock market, and competitive issues—will soon face a crisis for which most are unprepared. This crisis could be devastating, causing employers to suffer greatly and, perhaps, even be forced out of business.

Many corporate leaders are not even aware that a potential catastrophe is just around the corner. They have not evaluated their vulnerability or made viable plans to manage the impact on their organizations.

A number of trends are converging to create an unprecedented dilemma for employers throughout the free world. Because so few corporate leaders are fully aware of their predicament and the implications of this trend convergence, a crisis looms before us. Executives who prepare for the crisis will lead their organizations to a bright future; those who ignore the threat risk dangerous vulnerability and perhaps extinction.

We will experience a severe labor shortage in the United States from late 2002 until at least 2010. Very few people understand the enormity of this challenge. The Book: Impending Crisis explains the dilemma, with facts, figures, and graphic detail. The book includes advice that business leaders should—must—apply to assure the survival of their organizations. Employers will not be able to solve their problems by raising their bids for talent. They must fundamentally change the way they do business.

Until the mid-1990s, we had more people than jobs. Then came the challenges of the late 1990s: The Labor Shortage. With more jobs than people, employers were forced to compete—aggressively—for the talent they needed. Then the economy slowed in 2000, 2001, and early 2002. This slowdown caused major layoffs and dampened the churning in the labor market.

The economy has heated up. Open jobs will be filled and more will be created. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that we will have 167,754,000 jobs in the employment market in 2010, just seven short years away. At the same time, we will only have 157,721,000 people in the labor market—a shortage of 10,033,000 workers! These figures don’t even take skill needs into consideration, just raw numbers of workers. This decade will make the tight labor market of the late 1990s look like a practice session.