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TEEN WORK FORCE TO SHRINK DRAMATICALLY THIS DECADE

By the end of this decade there will be 22,250 fewer younger workers in Western New York than there were in 1987, according to a newly released report by the state Labor Department.

The report rehashes previous reports that also have described the coming loss of workers under 24 years of age as a result of the lower birth rate that began in the late 1960s.

The study says Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties will lose 23 percent, or nearly 20,000 workers, among 20- to 24-year-olds and 5.2 percent, or about 2,500 workers, among 16- to 19-year-olds.

Overall, it is expected that by the year 2000, the state work force will grow by about 931,000, or about 11 percent, to 9.4 million workers, the Labor Department said. The number of workers aged 25 and older will increase by nearly 1.2 million statewide, or about 17 percent, but will be offset by losses of younger workers.

Because of population trends, the number of New Yorkers between the ages of 16 and 19 will have dropped by 6.5 percent, or about 32,000, from 1987 to the turn of the century.

On top of that, the number of 20- to 24-year-olds in the state will fall by 22 percent, or about 235,400, by the year 2000, the department said.

Most of the drop in young workers will be among males, who will constitute 172,000 of the lost workers. Hardest hit by the aging trend among both sexes will be New York City and Long Island.

Long Island will lose more than 32 percent of its work force, or about 55,000 workers, between ages 20 and 24 but only about 1 percent of its teen-age workers. New York City, on the other hand, loses heavily from both categories -- 27 percent of its 16- to 19-year-old workers, or about 31,000 workers, and almost 21 percent of its 20- to 24-year-old work force, or about 75,000 workers, the department said.

The statistics were included in a Labor Department report on work force trends and predictions for the coming decade.

The report said the state will have about 907,000 more women, all over age 25, in the work force a decade from now.

At the same time, the number of males entering the work force will increase by only 32,000, the report said.

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