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Work in America: New Challenges for Health Care

President's Message from 2001 Annual Report

Over the past quarter century, the United States has witnessed an historic transformation of its workforce. Powerful economic and technological forces&#8212 including greater international competition, a decline in manufacturing, and advances in information technology&#8212 have reshaped the composition of jobs, even as dramatic demographic shifts have altered the makeup of the workforce itself. The boom in births that came in the wake of World War II was followed in turn by a sharp drop in fertility rates in the 1960s and 1970s, partly as a result of new contraceptive methods. Life expectancy and immigration increased, producing a picture of an American population growing grayer even as it becomes more richly diverse.

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Work in America: New Challenges for Health Care, Karen Davis, Ph.D., The Commonwealth Fund, April 2002