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Preparing for an Aging Workforce: A Focus on New Hampshire Employers

As the American workforce continues to age, employers need to identify and evaluate policies, attitudes, and perceptions toward age 50+ older workers that can negatively influence their company's bottom line. At the same time, they also need to be considering strategies to facilitate older worker participation in the workforce and capture institutional knowledge.

These AARP studies examine the extent to which this is being done in New Hampshire where people age 45+ comprise 58 percent of the total workforce. Previous AARP research suggests that small businesses' preparations for an aging workforce differ from those of large businesses. Accordingly, the survey findings are described in two reports – one dealing with responses from 826 responses from businesses with three or more employees, and the other with 250 responses from businesses with at least 50 employees.

In general, the surveys found that, among both sets of employers...

  • most are aware of the impending worker shortage, but few have taken steps to prepare for it
  • most consider retaining institutional knowledge that is lost when employees retire or leave to be highly important, but few have a formal process enabling departing workers to share knowledge they obtained on the job

Both mail surveys were conducted between July 25th and September 26th, 2005, using a random selection of New Hampshire businesses provided by Survey Sampling, Inc. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the reports' co-author, Kate Bridges, at 207-899-2094.