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Alabama Survey of Employers' Practices for Managing An Aging Workforce

The impending retirement of significant segments of Alabama's labor force in every occupation is expected to result in a major loss in skilled and experienced age 45+ workers in a relatively short period of time. This decline, coupled with falling fertility rates and a weak net in-migration rate, could have adverse effects on the state's productivity and economic growth. How Alabama employers are preparing - or not preparing - to respond to these changes is explored in this AARP study.

Of the 348 employers responding to the survey, 95 percent say it is no less than “very important” for their organization to retain skilled employees, but only 11 percent report having taken actions to prepare for the retirement of baby boom workers. Equally important to the businesses in the survey are

  • recruiting skilled employees (87%)
  • developing programs to improve employee performance (82%)
  • transferring knowledge from skilled to unskilled workers (80%)
  • introducing new technology (79%)

To accommodate workers interested in working beyond normal retirement age, employers said they were planning or considering use of four strategies:

  • enabling employees to ease into retirement by reducing their work schedules (49%)
  • hiring retired employees (47%)
  • providing part-time work arrangements without continuation of benefits (45%)
  • upgrading training (43%)

This survey of Alabama employers was conducted for AARP by Woelfel Research, Inc. from June 7th to July 28th, 2006. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report's author, Anita Stowell-Ritter, at 202-434-6205. (28 pages)