Facing an Aging Workforce
According to Workforce Management, people ages 55 and up are staying in the workforce longer than previous generations. Experts expect this trend to continue as we see companies benefiting from the wisdom and expertise of these seasoned employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor expects that the workforce will continue to grow through the year 2014, even though 78 million baby boomers will be between the ages of 50 and 68 by that time. About 31 percent of those 55 and older were in the workforce in 1984. That number climbed to 36 percent in 2004, and the figure will jump to 41 percent in 2014, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to AARP research from 2003, more than two-thirds of 50- to 70-year-old workers planned on working into or through their retirement. But, a study from McKinsey & Co. found that an estimated 40 percent of retirees were forced to stop working earlier than they had planned, largely because of health problems or job loss.
Reports indicate that employers can benefit from maintaining an aging workforce. The Families and Work Institute found that older workers are more likely to continue working when they have more control over their work hours, workplace flexibility, job autonomy and learning opportunities. And according to AARP, "replacing an experienced worker of any age can cost 50 percent or more of the individual’s annual salary in turnover-related costs, with increased costs for jobs requiring specialized skills, advanced training or extensive experience—qualifications often possessed by 50-plus workers."
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