Older Workers in an Ageing Society
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Older Workers in an Ageing Society

Critical Topics in Research and Policy

Edited by Philip Taylor

Prolonging working lives is high on the agenda of policy makers in most of the world’s major industrialized nations. This book explains how they are keen to tackle issues associated with the ageing of populations, namely the funding of pension systems and predictions concerning a dwindling labour supply. Yet the recent history of older workers has primarily been one of premature exit from the labour force in the form of redundancy or early retirement. Add to this a previously plentiful supply of younger labour and it is clear that much of industry will be unprepared for the challenges of ageing workforces.
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Chapter 14: Linking age to the quality of employees’ work experiences

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Christina Matz-Costa and Elyssa Besen


In response to recent shifts in the age composition of the workforce, researchers and employers have started to raise questions about possible relationships between age and employees’ experiences at work (Pitt-Catsouphes et al., 2007a). Until recently, much of the focus has been placed on older workers’ transitions into retirement. Emergent trends suggest that it is timely to update and expand the scope of some of the fundamental research questions related to ageing and work. First, there is evidence that the labour force participation patterns of older adults are shifting, resulting in the postponement of full-time retirement and in there-configuration of retirement years that may include at least some periods of employment. Secondly, shifts in the age composition of the workforce (with decreases in the numbers of employees born between 1965 and 1980compared to the numbers of those born between 1946 and 1964) has focused attention on the extent to which employees of different ages might experience employment in different ways.

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