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G7 Countries Face Significant and Widening Talent Gap as Global Workforce Ages

For Immediate Release

Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

Employers in the G7 countries must end age discrimination in the workplace if countries and employers are to be best positioned to thrive in the global economy tomorrow, according to a new AARP study, International Profit from Experience.

The study, conducted by the global consulting firm Towers Perrin, found that as the number of workers reaching traditional retirement years increase, the marketplace is experiencing a decline in the number of skilled younger workers available to fill in the ranks of those retiring. Even as companies and governments implement policies to address this talent gap, the older worker faces an unwelcoming environment.

“Older workers are a vibrant and contributing force to the success of the global marketplace,” said Bill Novelli, Chief Executive Officer of AARP. “Employers in the United States, and throughout the G7 nations, must actively work to retain the talent of older employees if they want to maintain a competitive edge.”

The study finds that age discrimination is the single largest barrier for those 50+ who want to continue working past their anticipated retirement age. At least 60% of employees 50+ in each G7 country view age discrimination as the primary barrier to securing new jobs, as opposed to only 38% of employees that view their employers as welcoming of older workers.

“While the survey clearly identifies the talent gaps emerging within G7 countries, the responses by employers do not sufficiently address this challenge,” added Line Vreven, Director of AARP International. “Those nations working to actively retain older workers and are providing incentives, rather than deterrents, to their continued employment, will reap economic gain in the long-run.”

Among the key findings, the survey demonstrates that:

  • Older workers in the G7 countries want to continue to work on average an additional 5 years, which would have an immediate effect of bolstering the declining global workforce.
  • Surges of immigration and productivity that might offset the anticipated decline in skilled workers are unlikely to occur.
  • While labor markets vary widely in each country, the growing competition for talent will, in every G7 country, drive up labor costs.
  • Allowing employees to continue working past their traditional retirement age will not only allow older workers to remain in their careers and stay active, but will have a positive impact on an employer’s bottom line.

The findings of the study will be released at the AARP International Profit from Experience Conference. Sponsored by AARP in partnership with the European Commission, the Business Council for the United Nations and Nikkei, the conference convened international opinion leaders for discussions on issues related to the aging workforce.

Additional information about the study can be found on AARP International's website at

AARP is a 39 million-member nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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