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Preparing for an Aging Workforce: A Focus on Delaware Businesses

Faced with potential labor shortages within five years due to baby boomers retiring and taking valuable knowledge with them, a considerably smaller pool of younger workers following close behind, and the possibility of some age 50+ workers opting to continue working beyond the traditional retirement age, what are Delaware employers doing to prepare for these eventualities? This AARP telephone survey of 400 organizations with 20 or more employees explores their perceptions of worker shortages and loss of institutional knowledge, and examines the extent to which they are attempting to retain older workers.

Of the employers surveyed...

  • 62 percent believe their business is likely to face a shortage of qualified workers within the next five years
  • 26 percent say they have taken steps to prepare for the possibility of boomers retiring at the traditional age
  • 12 percent report offering incentives to encourage employees to delay retirement
  • 72 percent feel it is important to retain institutional knowledge that might be lost when employees retire or otherwise leave
  • 34 percent report having a formal process for enabling departing employees to share the knowledge they have learned on the job
  • 44 percent offer phased retirement, mostly on an informal basis
  • 29 percent offer no retirement benefits at all

The telephone survey of Delaware employers was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research between November 13th and December 7th, 2006. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Jennifer Sauer ofAARP Knowledge Management at 202-434-6207. (24 pages)