New AARP Report: Understanding a Changing Older Workforce

Jan 18, 2023

Nearly all older workers seek and choose employment with meaning, according to a new report from AARP, but the COVID-19 pandemic made people realize the importance of a better work-life balance – more so than doing work that is meaningful.

The report, called “Understanding a Changing Older Workforce: An Examination of Workers Ages 40-Plus,” seeks to understand older workers’ reasons for working, perceptions of job security, differential treatment due to age, ideal work scenario, and plans for retirement in the wake of “the great resignation” and in an era of record low unemployment.

Among the findings were that older workers cite workplace flexibility as a key requirement for accepting a new job. This is not surprising given that more are working remotely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, perceived job insecurity is very real for older workers who experienced a workplace disruption in the past five years. About a third of older workers think it is likely they will lose their job within a year – primarily because of a weak economy. And among those who lack confidence in finding a job within three months, age discrimination is the primary reason.

According to the report, older workers believe age discrimination persists in the workplace today and the vast majority support strengthening age discrimination laws. Most
older workers feel age discrimination is commonplace and few see the situation
improving. In fact, a plurality of older workers have been treated negatively
because of their age.

For more information, see the AARP report here.