Consequences of a Graying Workforce (part I)

Growing Care-giving Needs of Employees

A maturing baby boomer generation and a significantly smaller succeeding generation (Generation X) is causing the aging of America and a changing workplace.   In 1980, half of American workers were under 35 years of age.  In 2005, the midpoint was 41.  The number of people aged 25 to 44 in the labor force was projected to decrease by 3.7 million between 1998 and 2008, according to the Bureau of labor Statistics Projections.

Since January 1, 2011, baby boomers began to celebrate their 65th birthdays.  For the next 20 years, every day, 10,000 people will turn 65.-Alliance for Aging Research

By 2020, the 65 and older population is projected to be over 54 million. The 75 and older population is projected to be close to 23 million. –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. 2005

In Virginia alone, where I live, in less than 20 years, according to the Virginia Department for the Aging, “one in every five Virginians will be age 65 or older, with the over 85 age group being the fastest growing segment of the population.”

How is this going to affect the workplace?  With boomers retiring later and the next generation being smaller in number, it is going to have a great impact on the workplace.  Companies are learning that many of their employees may be caregivers to their aging parents and/or even their spouses.  However, there are ways that companies can respond so as to diminish the potential impact.   (see: Consequences of a Graying Workforce (part II))



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