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Series # :
  ETAOP 2008-01
Title :
  Current Strategies to Employ and Retain Older Workers
Release Date :
Abstract :

With the aging of the baby boom population, the United States is facing an unprecedented demographic change.  As the number of people reaching traditional retirement age increases, the shrinking labor pool threatens American economic growth, living standards, Social Security and Medicare financing, and funding for other government programs. 


The report, conducted by the Urban Institute, was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to support the work of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce.  It describes current strategies used by the private, government, nonprofit, and education sectors to help attract and retain older workers.  The findings indicate that as older adults are becoming an increasingly important labor source, employers are beginning to tailor their programming and services to individuals age 50 and older.  Older workers typically bring maturity, dependability, and years of relevant experience to the workplace.  For employers, the challenge is to develop workforce policies that appeal to older workers without sacrificing productivity.  Therefore, employers may need to rethink traditional workplace practices to attract and retain older workers, many of whom are highly knowledgeable and skilled.  Many states, local workforce agencies, community colleges, and advocates for adults are taking steps to educate employers on the value of hiring and retaining older workers in order to dispel the misconceptions that persist in the employer community.

Publication Author(s)
The Urban Institute
  • Lauren Eyster
  • Richard W. Johnson
  • Eric Toder
Full Text Document(s)
Additional Information

Hard copy available: YES