State Recognizes Value Of Older Workforce

Contact: Karen Carroll (517) 373-8230

September 25, 2006

In honor of the contributions the older workforce, the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) encourages employers to observe National Employ Older Workers Week from September 24-30, 2006.

This is an important opportunity for elected officials, employers, and the general public to highlight the vital role of older workers in the current labor force and the continuing importance of the participation of older workers in meeting the employment needs of the 21st century.

“Older workers bring education, experience, and dedication to the workplace,” said Sharon Gire, OSA Director. “They are often well equipped to handle the mental and emotional demands of a career.”

By 2012, nearly 20% of the total U.S. workforce will be age 55 or older, up from just 13% in 2000. This growth reflects that the population as a whole is getting older due to several factors, including the aging of the large Baby Boom generation, lower birth rates, and longer life expectancies.

Unfortunately, many older workers face age bias. A recent study found that a young applicant is 40 percent more likely to be called back for an interview than their older counterpart.

Employers are encouraged to consider the benefits of hiring an older worker. Older workers are typically more willing to make large-scale changes to benefit the organization.

For more information on services to the aging, please contact OSA at (517) 373-8230 or www.miseniors.net.