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More on Jobs for Senior Citizens

Updated on September 8, 2009

There really is good news for senior citizens who want to work. The best news many just be demographics. While many in the baby boomer cohort fast approaching senior citizen status may want to continue working, this will be the largest group of people to retire in American history. As many retire and as the next youngest cohort, the baby bust generation, is significantly smaller, there will be demand from employers for trained and conscientious employees. Senior citizens fill both bills.

Growth in Numbers of Older Workers

Senior citizens soon will make the largest group of new employees on the job in America. In fact, older workers provide almost all of the growth in the work force in the upcoming years. The primary reason is that they will not be leaving their jobs as they age. About 40% of all workers over 55 are or have been recently seeking a job, whereas the number of workers from 16 to 24 seeking a job has decreased.

The number of older workers is expected to increase by about 11.9 million through 2016, making older workers one in four of all employed people. The entire increase in workers by 2016 is only to be about 12.8 million.

Desire to Work

While the current state of the economy may be changing "want to work" to "need to work", the main reason why older workers say they will stay on the job is because they want to do so. They want to be productive and continue to interact with others. Older workers are generally happier with their jobs, with a majority saying they are satisfied with their work. This compares well to a much smaller percentage of younger workers.

Older workers often will change jobs or find new ones even if it means lower pay and fewer benefits. Again, the reason is job satisfaction. They usually enjoy their new jobs more than their old ones. And they stay productive. Even in a high stress job like air traffic controllers, older workers perform as well as younger workers. Their experience and expertise makes up for any deficits due to age.

Finding a Job

There are, of course, all of the usual ways to find a job. Many older workers are more experienced in job seeking and know where and how to look. Networking is always the best and quickest way to find new employment. The Internet has opened a lot of doors when networking may not work for a particular individual.

For hard to place low income seniors, the Federal government funds a Senior Community Service Employment Program. Low income seniors work 20 hours a week at community service jobs at minimum wage or above with fringe benefits and even some health care benefits.

The Senior Environmental Employee Program provides jobs for seniors with the Environmental Protection Agency. Jobs are available in Washington DC and in ten regional offices.

There are senior friendly companies like Pitney Bowes, Walgreen's, Cingular Wireless, and Robert Half International. Search the Internet for senior friendly companies, and you may well find one in your area.

The time for senior employment is now. There has never been a better time in American history for senior citizens to find and keep gainful employment outside the home if they so desire.

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    • Steve Meyer profile image

      Steve Meyer 

      9 years ago

      Good analysis of the increasing job market for seniors. Keep up the good work.

      Thanks.

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