Growing number of older workers could help solve labour shortage crisis

Job Creation and workforce growth are vital to any nation’s economic health. However, slowing population growth in developed nations, such as the US, could have a big impact on how consumer markets develop. The US workforce grew by only 8% between 2000 and 2010. This is significantly lower than the 24% seen in the developing nations of Latin America over the same period. And according to the International Labour Organisation, US and Latin American workforce growth rates are projected to slow between 2010 and 2020.

The long-term slowing of labour force growth could reduce the pace of economic growth. Possible solutions to increase workforce growth could be looser immigration policies, or providing incentives for larger families. Another solution to slowing labour force growth is the increase in the number of older workers still participating in the workforce.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of labour force projections is the extremely high growth rate for workers age 65 and older, which is particularly true in the US as the large number of Baby Boomers move into the 65 to 74 cohort.

The growth in the number of older people worldwide is due to improving health condition for older people and the changing nature of work. The fast-moving digital economy has created and will continue to create millions of jobs around the world that do not require any physical strength or long hours standing outside.

While workers aged 65 and older are still less than 10% of the workforce and only a small minority of people that age are in the workforce – the trend is clear: for a number of reasons older people worldwide will almost certainly remain in the workforce longer than in the past.