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Georgia Businesses Will Need Older Workers to Thrive

A potential labor shortage could emerge in key sectors of the Georgian economy unless businesses establish concrete plans to hire older workers.

That's the conclusion of a weighty report produced by AARP Georgia with assistance from the Georgia Department of Labor and Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

White Collar, Blue Collar, Gray Hair: The Changing Composition of Georgia's Workforce provides projections of Georgia's employment by industry, as well as occupational profiles describing age, wages and salary, and educational attainments for each job.

Between 2005 and 2025, the age mix of Georgia's population will shift significantly, the report shows. The 65 and older population will grow significantly while those under age 24 will shrink as a proportion of the total state population.

As the proportion of younger workers declines, employers will need to reach out to mature workers to maintain their competitive edge.

As a result, Georgia's 55 and older workforce will be needed to fill projected employment shortages.

A resource guide for both employers and employees, the report examines 276 industries and includes the top growing and declining jobs.

The guide sorts employment projections by the amount of experience, training and education that each may require, whether it be short-term, moderate-term or long-term on-the-job training, and post-secondary, associates, bachelors or advanced degrees.

The report also ties its employment projections to the availability of mature workers. It includes a section outlining the projected wages and salary and educational attainment of workers who will be 55 and older in 2014.

The guide shows that jobs requiring short-term on-the-job training will represent 35 percent of all occupations by 2014.

"We believe that this report is a good first step in identifying the employment needs and job opportunities that will exist for workers and employers during the next 20 years," said AARP Georgia State Director, Ken Mitchell. "With a little planning, we can create a workforce that will keep Georgia growing and successful."

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