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AMAC: Aging Workforce Good for Employers and the Economy

‘Older employees more focused on the satisfaction of a job well done.’

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 30 – America’s aging workforce is a good thing for employers and the economy, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, noting that a new Gallup poll shows that “employee engagement increases with age, even well into workers’ 60s and 70s.”

The poll concluded that older workers are more “involved in and enthusiastic about their work and more productive members of their workplace — than younger workers.”

Weber said it is no secret that over the next 20 years Americans will be turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day.  “It’s not surprising, therefore, that seniors are staying on the job much longer than in the past.  Some seniors continue to work well past traditional retirement to make ends meet; many stay because they find fulfillment in their jobs.”

He pointed out that people are not only living longer these days, they’re living healthier, more active lives.  That, combined with the greater freedom at home that comes with reduced family obligations, makes older employees more focused on the satisfaction of a job well done.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that in 1984 about 15% of the workforce was 65 years of age or older and that in 2014 the labor participation rate of men and women over 65 had grown to nearly 27%.

The Gallup survey found that employers gain a competitive advantage by utilizing the experience of older workers and taking advantage of the knowledge they’ve gained over the years.  Meanwhile, a separate study by Gary Burtless, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, indicated that older workers are more productive, as well.

“Compared with earlier generations of aged Americans and compared with contemporary prime-age workers, today’s elderly are unusually well educated. Their high relative earnings and later retirement are partly explained by this fact,” Burtless concluded.

Weber said that working seniors have a positive effect on the economy.  They have more disposable income and, as a result, have created a growth market for private sector companies.  In fact, he pointed out, J.P. Morgan has put together an Aging Population Index to keep track of companies that benefit from the country’s aging citizenry.

In addition, Weber noted that working Baby Boomers pay more taxes and are helping to bolster both their local and national economies.

“Ageism is still a problem for older workers, but there are signs that employers are waking up to the reality that there are a lot of benefits to keeping senior employees on their payrolls and hiring from the fast-growing pool of older job seekers.  They are beginning to realize that they can be excellent role models for younger workers, that their enthusiasm is infectious, that in most cases the work means more to them than their paychecks and, of course, that they have had a lifetime of learning from their mistakes,” Weber said.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue.  Editors/reporters may contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or [email protected] to set up a call.

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation.  Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at http://amac.us/join-amac.

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Rusty
6 years ago

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Beverly
6 years ago

I do agree with the comments about seniors being better workers. Part of the problem is that many young people must be told every step of what to do next. They don’t seem able to look at what needs done and do it without being told. It’s like they don’t want to see more work. Not all younger people are like that, but I have met few that are self starters or don’t roll their eyes because you are telling them how to do something. They don’t seem to realize the importance of learning a job and doing a good job of it. There has also been a real change in customer service in retail and service related businesses which has changed from “the customer is always right” to barely cordial service like they can do without you if you demand more than what they see as acceptable. There is a real lack of respect for the older generations as well in those fields.
My husband has real skills in the metal working machinery business and has been wanting to train younger men before he retires. His company didn’t see the need and now the time is getting closer they finally hired someone who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and he’s doing the job as a choice, not as a stepping stone. Most young men do not want that kind of job, it took years to find this one. His company rejected older candidates because they were too old and said so to each other after the interviews. It does happen! Maybe more companies need to set up apprenticeships like they used to.
I feel for all the thousands who truly have tried and can’t find something. A list would be great, but a huge job. Maybe AMAC could post a notice in their magazine asking for companies willing to hire seniors. Just a thought!

Karen Bailey
6 years ago

A question more than a comment: WHERE can a “senior” apply for work? I am getting nowhere with a Business Degree and over 35 years of administrative assistant, clerical support, and customer service experience. In the past I was offered a position after my first or second interview (40 years of this). I recently was asked to attend 6 interviews in less than 2 months and of course was offered nothing. (The reason I am not currently employed is that I was laid off 4 years ago from a State job.) I don’t expect a high salary or “prestigious” position and I have kept my skills updated. I have had no luck with part-time work either.
I haven’t researched volunteer work yet but I certainly haven’t ruled it out.
Suggestions?
Thank you!

Conrad Scott
6 years ago

For the first time in my life I cannot find employment in my field of work, that is commercial or residential Construction! I have been seeking work for longer than I like to admit here! There are several reasons for this, one being my age, the other the economy! I have had some human resource people flatly admit to me that they are “looking for someone who will be with us for 10 or 20 years”. Sure that would be great if that did happen with half of your prospects, but the majority of job seekers will only work 2-3 years at one employer prior to changing jobs! Some of the individuals conducting the interviews, honestly are looking for the “best fit” for their positions, and do not hold any negative ideas about hiring individuals of retirement age. However, this is clearly a minority of human resource staff. I must say that when I was younger and I interviewed and hired job site crew members i.e., carpenter and Laborers and other skilled tradesmen/women, I also was biased regarding the physical ability of older individuals! I would make a judgment call about their ability to do the lifting, and hard work that comes with the job. As a result I rarely hired anyone over the age of 55, unless I knew I had a position that (My judgment) they could do physically, regardless of what the individual job prospect said about his or her capacity. What I am facing today is, in addition to the normal hurtles that the older job prospect has to face, is the large number of other applicants that are also unemployed, and applying for the same position. It does not seem to matter that I have the computer skills, construction technology skills, and the abilities to actually do the work with a crew, with over 40 years of real experience doing the job. The position has, in almost every case, gone to the younger candidate! I have not been able to find the opportunity or even a chance to prove I can do the work better, and that I am still a valuable individual that can make money for a company in the construction business. I am ready; to prove what I say is true! If only I can find the opportunity!

kenneth
6 years ago

I have worked hard most of my life in construction in atics and under houses digging in the hot summer or cold winter. If your were setting in an office all day maybe old people pushing a pin around sounds good, but at 66 I don’t need any more.

dan
6 years ago

It is so true, the senior employee has the experience and wisdom, knowledge and has the opportunity to share with employees for a positive situation. off topic I always take the AMAC survey this week 401K participation I was enrolled over 20yrs, until job was eliminated due to buyout, of course five years before age 58 the great recession (housing bubble-wall street collapse to big to fail took 50,000 of my 401k. My neighbor a trader said take out take penalty. I couldn’t not a hardship, not fifty nine and a half only if leave company should have or at death. another govt. program wrong regulation. I explain to younger use other investment tools as well until changes or different program with world economy

Ron N.
6 years ago

I’m pleased you that published this, but you’re preaching to the choir. What’s really important is conveying the message to the hiring organizations/companies out there. The professionalism, solid work ethic and the pride we take in a job well done is very much unrecognized by the “youthful” interviewers sitting across the desk. This generation is highly adaptable,can assess, learn, and tackle anything thrown at us. You don’t need someone who’s resume is an exact fit for the job description. You need someone who knows how to get the job done.

Bill
6 years ago

I find this article very ironic. I have been unemployed for almost eight months. I am sixty years old, have a college, vocational, technical, supervision, management, leadership and extensive military background. Very good work ethic and open minded.

I have filled out hundreds of applications from Management to washing out trash cans and still unemployed. I would like to know where all these employers are that value experience and knowledge? If they exist, I can’t find them.

Rik
6 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Bill, I had been unemployed for 6 months, I googled best credit card processing companies and applied online and am now representing one, even though it is on a straight commission, independent contractor basis, I now have the opportunity to make a very good income. … Straight commission is a little scary, but the opportunity to make a residual income is very appealing. … CHI Payment Systems is the outside sales force and Flagship is inside telemarketing, you might check it out.

Marci
6 years ago

One huge advantage of hiring people over 65 is that the employer doesn’t have to provide medical insurance – a huge savings nowdays. I continue to work as I am passionate about my vocation and there aren’t many young people with my training and skills.

PaulE
6 years ago

The sad reality if that many young people enter the work totally unprepared for the demands of competing in the modern business world. This is a function of how the public school system and even many colleges have devolved over the last 35 to 40 years, as they moved away from proven teaching standards still used throughout the world and curriculum more aligned socio-economic needs and towards a “fell good about yourself’ and politically motivated course structure. Many young people lack the critical thinking skills necessary to effectively solve routine business issues that present themselves on a daily basis. Many also have poor reading comprehension and coherent writing skills, which puts them at a disadvantage in an increasingly global business environment. So it is no wonder that some businesses see the value in retaining older workers, who generally don’t suffer from these deficits.

Of course many businesses still actively practice age discrimination. The lure of lower cost labor, even it it comes at the price of a less effective employee, is still rampant today. Still at the end of the day, a business needs an effective labor force able to actively compete in an ever-more competitive environment. Competing businesses are not going to “go easy” on a business, because they’re loaded up with poorly educated and thus under-performing employees. If anything, such a business will likely be driven out of business by the more effectively run businesses operating in the same space. So the short-term gain associated with hiring lower cost, but less effective labor, is off-set by the need to provide additional coaching and many cases ongoing hand-holding to ensure tasks are executed correctly.

Just my two cents. Have a nice weekend.

Ron N.
6 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Very well said. Thank you.

Bruce
6 years ago
Reply to  Ron N.

I second that.

Ivan Berry
6 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

PaulE, what I don’t get is why an “aging workforce” is a good thing for employers and the economy,” as stated in Weber’s first sentence. Seems to me that a nation that does not have a replacement/birthing agenda is doomed to run out of both workers and consumers in the long run, except for immigration of low skilled and uneducated (government schools) for the “scrub” jobs.
What might have been more helpful could have been the posting of the J.P. Morgan index, so those over sixty-five looking for employment could have some idea of where to look for employment.
The young and poorly educated should look to government jobs. I understand that the IRS is hiring in the hopes that those who get a job with them cannot answer tax payers’ questions the same way twice. That way, taxpayers cannot ever know how to comply. Same goes for the Social Security Admin and others as well. Even those private companies that deal with medical and other areas could use those who don’t know what they are doing so that anyone using their services will remain in the dark as to what is and is not doable, and cannot ever get their accounts straight.
Not sure what the 10% who can actually read and do cyphers are supposed to do. Few places are left that actually hire quality, and respects ability.
Liked your two cents; how’d you like mine?

PaulE
6 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Hi Ivan,

I too had a problem with Mr.Weber’s first sentence and for the same reason. If a country can’t develop and sustain subsequent generations to carry on a high level of skilled workmanship across the broad economy, then that is a nation destined to be in steep decline once the current elder generation can no longer participate in the workforce. I suspect Mr. weber was simply trying to sound optimistic about the potential employment opportunities for seniors and got carried away.

I agree with you that somewhere in the article it would have been useful to include a list of the top 10 or 20 sub-sectors of the economy that are actively hiring seniors. That way, those seniors looking for employment could have at least an idea where to focus their job search. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the purpose of the article. The purpose appears strictly to simply tout the results of the poll referenced. Thus the article served little value other than highlighting the fact that the younger generations lack several of the needed skills and temperament necessary to participate fully in keeping our economy afloat.

I liked your two cents by the way. All except for suggesting those too ill-equipped to function in our economy all get government jobs. The last thing we need is a massive influx of even less prepared people running our government. We already have too many of those already.

Bruce
6 years ago

Older people put up with more discrimination than any other group. But they possess great work ethic and truly understand what customer service is all about.

Pat Cunningham
6 years ago

A couple of years into this category, I continue to teach, simply because I love the work and I love the kids. There are few teachers actually degreed in chemistry who are teaching it in high school, and one of my objectives is to mentor one or two more young chemists into the teaching field before I hang it up for good.

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