California has long had a reputation for being among the first to experience, feel the effects of, and react to developing trends. This tendency is reflected in employers' responses to AARP's survey of Golden State businesses with 50 or more employees.
Aware of the possibility of labor shortages within five years due to baby boomers retiring and a lesser number of younger workers, most of the surveyed firms consider retaining and recruiting skilled workers to be highly important. While addressing the needs of an aging workforce is not among their top business issues, most employers in this study clearly value older employees and have already begun initiating workplace practices and providing benefits such workers might find appealing.
Among the approaches currently in use or under consideration by California employers that could accommodate pre-retiring employees (and encourage them to stay on the job):
- upgrading employee skills
- hiring retiring/retired employees
- addressing age bias/diversity issues
- reducing work schedules
- transfering jobs
- shifting career tracks
- providing part-time work with benefits
- providing part-time work without benefits
This Web panel survey of 514 California employers with 50 or more employees was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research, Inc. Further information about the survey may be obtained from the report's author, Jennifer Sauer, at 202-434-6207. (17 pages)