The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce
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The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce

Challenges and Opportunities

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Cary Cooper and Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou

The workforce is aging as people live longer and healthier lives, and mandatory retirement has become a relic of the past. Though workforces have always contained both younger and older employees the age range today has expanded, and the generational gap has become more distinct. This book advocates the need for talented employees of all ages as a way to prevent potential skill shortages and considers both the challenges and opportunities that these changes raise for individual organizations. The benefits they discuss include greater employee diversity with regards to knowledge, skills experience and perspectives, whilst challenges involve potential generational tensions, stereotypes and age biases. The book further places an emphasis on initiatives to create generation-friendly workplaces; these involve fostering lifelong learning, tackling age stereotypes and biases, employing reverse mentoring where younger employees mentor older employees, and offering older individuals career options including phased retirement, bridge employment and encore careers.
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Chapter 17: Getting a good fit for older employees

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Tay McNamara and Stephen Sweet


There is an abundance of research that indicates that today’s older adults anticipate extending their labor force participation beyond the traditional retirement years of 62–65 years. In 2002, the labor force participation (LFP) rate in the United States was 61.9 percent among 55- to 64-year-olds and 20.4 percent among 65- to 74-year-olds. By 2012, those rates were 64.5 percent and 26.8 percent respectively. It is anticipated that, by 2022, the LFP rates will be 67.5 percent for those aged 55–64 and 31.9 percent for people aged 65–74 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, undated). Furthermore, surveys find that almost half (47 percent) of workers aged 50 and older say that it is very likely that they will continue to work (either part or full time) during “retirement,” and another 35 percent say it is somewhat likely (Benz et al., 2013). (See also AARP, 2013; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014; Dalirazar, 2007.)

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