Why Do Seniors Work

Many older people work for reasons they have always had, a desire to be productive and make positive economic gains. However, some seniors return to work because pensions failed to deliver the quality of life they desired. For low-income earners, senior employment is not a choice; it is a necessity. Social security benefits are too low to meet their necessities. In past decades, many companies promised pensions and retirement benefits. Some companies failed and benefits were lost. Among those that continued, a significant number have pared them back. In the situations of many private concerns and a few local government employers, bankruptcies have reduced vested pension benefits.

Finding Senior Employment Is Difficult

By research and numerical evidence, older workers have faced a form of employment discrimination over a long period of years. It is a form of structural unemployment and under-employment. While some believe that costs related to older workers such as healthcare are factors, older workers have greater difficulty in finding jobs that match the quality of their skills and experience. Traditional fields in which tenure meant increased security have diminished by social and economic change. Structural revisions have occurred in fields like manufacturing and professions such as teaching, which often result in reducing senior positions.

Seniors And The Tech-Savvy Environment

In an opposite trend, high demand skills sought by employers are in areas and occupations that have recently come into existence such as Internet Technology, electronic and computer-based technical and engineering specialties. While many older workers accept re-training, the society has not moved forward to provide low cost worker re-training on a scale to meet its needs. Like many other population groups, many older workers lack skills needed for high-demand occupations. Technological influences have always been a part of the modern industrial environment, however in recent decades the pace of change has escalated.

New Corporate Cultures

With new industries and newer ways to configure businesses, older workers often face an adjustment that younger workers do not. The modern corporate model has shifted dramatically over the past two decades as globalization has worked dramatic changes. Businesses now are more flexible and prone to taking new directions. Gone are the days when a worker or executive found a niche and stayed for a career. Today’s main business process maybe tomorrow’s candidate for outsourcing. Evolving technologies can have a similar effect, automation and greater sophistication reduces the numbers of jobs and places a premium on technological adaptation.

Favorable Trends

Some employment trends favor segments of senior jobholders and job seekers. Several advocacy and service organizations focus on the situation of senor workers seeking and holding jobs. Dedicated employment portals online include those sponsored by Senior Job Bank, AARP, and nearly every state government. Those seeking part time work may be in the more advantageous position due to a broad economic trend among U.S. employers.

Many large companies have committed to reducing fixed labor costs by converting full time jobs into multiple part-time jobs. Many companies pursue this policy to avoid paying for retirements, pensions, and health benefits. Among these positions, a large percentage is in retail, and companies provide training. Part-time jobs are variable labor costs with no long–term commitment. It is employment at will, and primarily part-time, but for those without work or in need of work, it may be a viable option.


Age discrimination in employment

Senior Job Bank

Baby Boomers Staying On