States as Employers-of-Choice—State Research Highlight
by Tay McNamara, Michelle Wong, Melissa Brown, and Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes
March 2009—State Research Highlight 1 examine information from the Center's States as Employers-of-Choice project, contains valuable information concerning the effective management of an aging workforce for employers in both the private and the public sectors.
Both public and private sectors will face increasingly similar age management concerns, as both groups face growing numbers of employees remaining in the workforce past traditional retirement age. However, the public sector, and more specifically the workforce of the state agencies studied in this research highlight, is aging more quickly than the private sector. This trend indicates that the private sector can learn by examining the problems state agencies are now facing with the issues of recruitment, engagement, and retention of employees from different life and career stages.
The States as Employers-of-Choice research highlight examines the policies of state agencies in 25 states and the private sector from three vantages: “their assessment of the aging workforce, their awareness of late-career workers, and their actions in response to today’s multigenerational workforce.” Our findings show that state agencies excel in the areas of assessment and awareness, but the private sector has been slightly ahead in terms of action. The public sector, then, would benefit from rethinking policies in recruiting, engaging, and retaining a diverse age group of employees. In turn, the private sector “can learn from the approaches that state agencies have taken…in terms of their assessment and awareness of older workers within their labor forces.”