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Understanding Age, Ageism and Older Workers

Understanding Age, Ageism and Older Workers

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Understanding Age, Ageism and Older Workers

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  1. Understanding Age, Ageism and Older Workers

  2. Demographics(WOW Facts, 2005) • As of 2004, there were 36.3 million people 65 and older; representing 12.4% of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) • By 2050, this will increase to 86.7 million; and will comprise 21% of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) • Gender ratio of 140 senior women for every 100 men (Administration on Aging, 2004) • Americans who were 50 or above control 67% of nations wealth (Wall Street Journal, 2004) and consumers over 45 were responsible for 52% of total consumer spending in 2001 (AARP, 2004)

  3. Labor Force Participation(WOW Facts, 2005) • Labor force participation continues to rise for workers age 65 and older - currently at 22.6% (AARP, 2005) • Projected that 33% of all workers in 2010 will be at least 50 years old (AARP, 2005) • Baby Boomers (Allstate, 2004): • 76% intend to work during their retirement • 57% believe the best years of their life will occur after retirement • Will be the wealthiest group in history; will control 40% of the nation’s disposable income and 77% of private investments (USA Today, 2003)

  4. Legislation & Protection • ADEA • Prohibits discrimination against employees who are at least 40 by employers of 20 or more people • Illegal to discriminate within this age group (I.e., preferring 45 year olds over 58 year olds) • No mandatory retirement age

  5. Age Discrimination • Number of age discrimination complaints filed with EEOC jumped 41% between 1999-2002; 64% were baby boomers (AARP, 2003) • In 2003, the EEOC received 19, 124 age discrimination charges and obtained nearly $50 million in settlements (Bell, 2007) • Most litigants have been white men working in managerial and professional jobs (Bell, 2007).

  6. Ageism • “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks” • Percent of seniors online jumped by 47% between 2000-2004 - fastest growing online users. (Consumer Electronics Association, 2004) • Feb. 2004: 22% of Americans age 65 or older had access to internet - compare to: • 58% of Americans age 50-64 • 65% of 30-49 • 77% of 18-29 (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2004) • Baby Boomers similar to Gen X in internet use • 75% of baby boomers and 75% of Gen X get news online (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2004)

  7. More Myths • Older people have higher absenteeism & accidents rates • Older employees attendance is better than younger workers; less likely to take days off caring for children/family members (Carr-Ruffino, 2006) • Older workers are coasting to retirement • Baby boomers : 76% intend to continue working past retirement; for reasons of social interaction and identity (Allstate, 2004) • The future of age? Social consciousness and political activism.

  8. Best Practice Employers • AARP and 13 companies formed a national hiring partnership to retain and recruit older workers (50 and above) for full and part time positions; partial list:(AARP, 2005) • Borders Group • Kelly Services • Manpower • MetLife • Pitney Bowes • The Principal Financial Group • The Home Depot • Universal Health Services • Walgreen’s