Just a decade ago, experts warned of labor shortages in the United States and other countries as the baby boomers marched into retirement en masse. But with an aging population facing the prospect of living for decades on shrunken retirement funds, graying individuals plan to keep on working.
This “silver tsunami” has received a mixed response in the workplace. On the one hand, many employers have been slow to adapt to the changing needs of older workers and perceive them to be costly and troublesome to hire. Data show that people over the age of 55 find it harder to land jobs than their younger counterparts, even though age discrimination is illegal in many countries. On the other hand, some far-sighted companies around the world are working to recruit, retrain and otherwise engage older workers.
Older workers bring a lifetime of skills to their jobs and can be highly motivated and productive members of the workplace, according to Wharton professors.