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Older and Out of Work–Displacement Trends—Issue Brief

by Maria Heidkamp & Carl E. Van Horn

September 2008—A growing proportion of older adults does not have the option of retiring from work at their expected date. This is due in part to rising cost of living and a lack of sufficient savings. In addition, structural changes in the economy are causing widespread unemployment for workers both young and old. This is especially problematic because research shows that older workers:

  • tend to have more difficulty finding new jobs;
  • more frequently experience discrimination with regards to salary;
  • face negative stereotypes by employers when job searching; and
  • often do not have access to necessary training programs.

With talent shortages approaching as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age, employers need to proactively ensure that they provide their older workers with a supportive work environment sensitive to their needs. For older workers, this often means providing greater workplace flexibility and specialized benefits packages.

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