Home > Exclusive Articles, Staffing > Challenges & Opportunities Facing 50+ Job Seekers

Challenges & Opportunities Facing 50+ Job Seekers

workerBy David Mezzapelle
Founder, Director of Marketing

There has been much buzz surrounding the explosive growth of the Baby Boomer & Retiree segments of our population. Today, when combining the state of the economy with this population shift, the topic of employment is certainly the most popular. To get a feel for the impact here are some powerful statistics:

• The 50+ demographic will grow by 49.1% for the next few years, 5 times the growth rate of the rest of the US workforce.

• From 2004 – 2010 workers ages 35 – 44 will decline by 19%, workers ages 45 – 54 will increase by 21% and workers, and workers ages 55 – 64 will increase by 52%.

• Boomer spending is projected to increase $800 billion to over $4.6 trillion by 2015.

• Boomers are the highest earners, best educated & largest home ownership group of any generation to-date.

Boomers (people born between 1946 – 1964) control the lion’s share of the population and will do so for the next 30+ years. They are a major driver of our economy. They also have needs including retirement. However, after completing extensive market research it became clear to us that today’s 50+ population wants to continue working past retirement. Advancements in healthcare as well as improved nutrition & exercise are allowing people to work past 65. Most cite the need for income (84%), boredom avoidance (78%) and health coverage (56%) as the reasons to continue working. The good news is that working past retirement, even 2-3 years, can result in a dramatic improvement to a 401(k) balance, higher Social Security benefits and less dependency on savings. Plus, the ability to continue exercising the mind can actually extend one’s life. So what opportunities exist and where? Companies that embrace the talent & experience of our 50+ population will win in the competitive global marketplace. They are finally realizing that their longevity is contingent on understanding these trends. As a result, companies are starting to develop programs to hire & retain 50+ workers. This is easy to do because 50+ workers bring a lot to the table. They are loyal, possess significant interpersonal skills and are flexible in terms of schedules, benefits & pay. They are also tech savvy; In 1990 the desk of every 40-year old worker had a PC. Those same workers are now 59 with 19 years of computer experience and have been online since the advent of the web. 50+ job seekers can turn to head hunters, staffing agencies and even classifieds. Online services such as JobsOver50.com and AARP do a great job as well. Another powerful resource for job seekers is their Alma Mater. Schools & alumni associations across all education levels are starting to pay close attention to the employment needs of 50+ alumni. These are great venues for job seekers to go for job search as well as up-to-date advice and best practices. Many schools even offer “lifetime career services” in their mission statements. Thanks to the proliferation of social & professional networks and web-based alumni associations, more & more alumni are connected to their schools daily. These networks are also the perfect place for employers to post their jobs into a sea of talent. There are certainly challenges facing 50+ job seekers today. However, their mass, experience & talent yields an opportunity to drive the US workforce to new heights. We will see a significant economic recovery as employers embrace this growing trend.

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