Throughout human history, age patterns have followed a predicable trend: Parents would give birth to large numbers of children, not all of whom would reach adulthood; and as a generation moved from childhood to adolescence and through adulthood, more and more would succumb to death from illness, accidents, or conflict. The result was a pyramid-shaped age distribution, with large numbers of young people and fewer and fewer people attaining the age of 50, 60, or 70 and beyond.
For most of modern history, this trend has influenced the workplace, as well. It’s been the norm for workers to retire sometime in their 60s, making room for the advancement of younger generations, who often swell ranks further down the seniority chain and skew the average age of the workforce downward relative to the average age of the overall population.
Living Longer …
For a variety of reasons, this dynamic has changed dramatically in recent years. It’s far less common for children to die before reaching adulthood than it was even 100 years ago. Parents today have fewer children than in years past. The shift from physically demanding labor to a more knowledge-based economy also means that workers have the physical ability to remain in the workforce longer.
… Means Working Longer
AARP’s Kenneth Terrell points to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and projects that by 2024, 13 million people aged 65 and older will still be working. Despite the attention that the Millennial demographic often receives, this older generation will represent the fastest-growing segment of the workforce from 2014–2024.
Terrell says, “While the total number of workers is expected to increase by 5 percent over those 10 years, the number of workers ages 65 to 74 will swell by 55 percent. For people 75 and older, the total will grow a whopping 86 percent, according to BLS projections.”
Increased numbers and proportional representation of older workers in the workforce potentially mean major changes in workplace culture, norms, and intergenerational dynamics. Continue reading here…
Source: HR Daily Advisor