24 AUGUST 2016 Claims Magazine PropertyCasualty360.com
Baby boomers and Gen Xers might be hitting retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they are slowing down in the workforce.
The number of workers age 55 and up
in the labor pool has risen in recent decades and is only expected to continue
climbing over the next six years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s good news for employers across the
country. Older workers offer more experience and knowledge and a valuable perspective to the workforce.
But as older generations opt for paychecks over play time with the grandkids,
employers must also be prepared for the
unique issues that face aging workers, especially as they relate to Workers’ Compensation and other insurance claims.
In fact, Safety National Casualty Corporation found that the average claim cost
was 73 percent higher for workers who
are older than 45.
Let’s face it, thanks to modern medi-
Staying on the job
cine and advances in public health, we’re
all living longer. Workplace practices and
policies must keep up.
The oldest baby boomers, who are now
70, hit the average retirement age of 63
several years ago. Now, Generation X is
catching up with elder Gen Xers who are
now in their mid-50s. These groups com-
prise the growing ranks of older workers
at a time when the rate of younger work-
ers in the workforce, ages 25 to 54, is ac-
By 2022, nearly 68 percent of 55- to
64-year-olds will be working, up from
64.5 percent in 2012, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those ages
65 to 74, the rate is expected to reach
about 32 percent, up from 27 percent in
2012. By comparison, the labor force participation rate for 25- to 54-year-olds was
higher than their older co-workers at 81.4
percent in 2012, but is expected to drop
slightly to 81 percent in 2022.
The Pew Research Center pegs the reasons behind the numbers on a variety of
issues. Younger workers are staying in
school and out of the workforce longer.
And, the economy has forced many older
workers, who might not have enough
saved for retirement or who lost jobs
during the Great Recession, to continue
working. Older Americans’ health also is
improving, providing another reason to
Can’t Slow me Down
THE BENEFITS OF A GRAYING WORKFORCE
By Kari Williamson, RN, LNCC, CCM
By 2022, nearly 68 percent
of 55- to 64-year-olds
will be working, up from
64.5 percent in 2012
according to the Bureau
of Labor Statistics.