This new study, evaluates the business case for the recruitment, retention, and engagement of these workers. The findings reveal that the business case for workers age 50+ has strengthened since the original report was published in 2005 and confirms that 50+ workers are a critical component of a high-performance business.
Key findings include:
- The number of Americans age 50+ who are working or looking for work has grown significantly over the past decade, and is expected to continue to increase. In fact, 35% of U.S. labor force participants will be age 50+ in 2022. This compares to just 25% in 2002.
- The 50+ segment of the workforce continues to be the most engaged age cohort across all generations. Sixty-five percent of employees age 55+ are considered engaged based on survey data, while younger employee engagement averages 58% to 60%. The level of employee engagement has implications for both retention and business results. It takes only a 5% increase in engagement to achieve 3% incremental revenue growth.
- Other advantages of workers ages 50+ include their experience, professionalism, work ethic, lower turnover, and knowledge.
- Contrary to common perception, workers age 50+ do not cost significantly more than younger workers. Shifting trends in reward and benefit programs have created a more age-neutral distribution of labor costs, meaning that adding more age 50+ talent to a workforce results in only minimal increases in total labor costs. Furthermore, the incremental costs of 50+ workers may be far outweighed by the value that they add.
- Although current and future financial needs are a top reason that employees stay in the workforce past age 50, psychological and social fulfillment also play a role.
- Leading employers use a variety of strategies to recruit and retain 50+ workers including flexible workplaces, options for transitioning to retirement, and fostering generational diversity and inclusion.
This study was conducted for AARP by Aon Hewitt, a global services firm. Information was drawn from a variety of sources, including Aon Hewitt databases of thousands of employers and millions of workers. For additional information, contact Laura Bos at email@example.com or S. Kathi Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. Media inquiries should be directed to AARP’s Media Relations Office at email@example.com.