The “baby boomer” generation will be the fastest-growing age group in the workforce next year. In 2018 almost 20% of Americans over the age of 65 were employed or actively looking for work according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is considerably up from less than 12% twenty years ago. The youngest of this generation, born in 1964, turned or will turn 55 this year.
With science and medicine making longer lives possible, people are more eager to continue to learn and make productive use of their time. For most, contributing to society means continuing to work. Additionally, the aging population is finding that pensions may not be sufficient sources of income to sustain the rest of their life. With a longer and healthier life expectancy comes needing retirement funds to last that much longer.
The World Health Organization has flagged workplace ageism as an ongoing issue, saying “employers often have negative attitudes towards older workers… even though older workers are not necessarily less healthy, less educated, less skillful or productive than their younger counterparts.” A survey was conducted this past year by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finding that 1 in 3 Americans under the age of 50 felt the aging workforce had negative implications for their own careers.
Contrary to this however, a study from Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research analyzed data from 1977-2011 to conclude that younger workers opportunities were in no way diminished by older workers presence in the workforce. The data researched actually suggested that the exact opposite was true!