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Lets take a look at the landscape for older workers as it unfolds today. Baby boomers will begin to reach age 65 by 2010. Although prevailing attitudes in our society remain slanted against older workers, already there are profound changes taking place.
Consider these factors:
·There are over 16 million Americans over 55 who are either working or seeking work.
·Older workers are getting new jobs at an annual rate of 4.1 percent. This is more than double the .8 percent rate in the general population.
·Older Americans make up 10 percent of the workforce, but account for 22 percent of the nation's job growth.
·Extensive research has found no relationship between age and job performance. Americans age 55 and above take fewer sick days, adapt to new technologies successfully, and are more loyal to their employer than thirtysomethings.
·A survey of human resource professionals found that 62 percent are hiring retired employees as consultants.
·By 2010 there will be a severe labor shortage as baby boomers begin to retire and fewer younger workers are available because of slow population growth between 1966 and 1985. Unless we can keep older, productive people working, labor tightness will slow down the economy
Add to this the raising of Social Security normal retirement from 65 to 67, and the likelihood of further increases. The Social Security Earnings Test has been eliminated. Moreover, a long established trend toward early retirement has reached an abrupt halt according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
In a commercial culture aimed at the young, the beautiful and the nimble we do not like to think about aging. Although aging is as inescapable as phases of the moon, negative stereotypes about older adults proliferate. Unfortunately they still find their loudest expression in the workplace. We cheer roundly when older people demonstrate creativity, can do attitudes and athletic agility. An 88-year...
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