Work Force Less and Less Shy, Retiring Boston Herald Online (10/21/02) p.336; Macero Jr., Cosmo
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2015, employees 55 years and older will comprise 20 percent of the workforce, up from 13 percent in 2000. AARP and RoperASW identified two subsections within the aging workforce--those between the ages of 45 and 74: sustainers and providers. Sustainers need to work in order to live, while providers are those employees with elderly parents and children. About 56 percent of those surveyed indicated that employer-sponsored health benefits kept them at their jobs, but employers are concerned about the effects of an aging workforce on productivity. AARP director of economic security and work campaigns Jon Dauphine indicated that older workers think of their jobs as linked to their self-identity and derive a lot of satisfaction from their work. However, critics are concerned that as workers age and are forced to forego retirement, many will come to view their work as a burden. Nevertheless, AARP and other groups contend that the workforce will have to transform itself, accommodating older workers for longer periods, but recent statistics indicate that 67 percent of employees between 45 and 74 have experienced age discrimination.