Tapping the Full Potential of the Mature Workforce [Infographic]

When it comes to the so-called "war for talent," many companies remain focused on the potential of younger hires. However, in today's economic landscape, organizations must make a shift to leverage the potential of the mature workforce in order to compete on both a domestic and international level. Data from a recent infographic created by Mercer and the Global Agenda Council, shared by the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, reveals that unless this potential is leveraged sufficiently, some businesses may struggle to keep up. Shifting Demographics The average number of mature workers in the U.S. — individuals over the age of 55 — has risen steadily during the past 14 years.

  • In 2000, approximately 13.1 percent of the American workforce was comprised of mature workers. In 2011, this figure had risen to 21 percent. By 2020, data suggests that mature workers will make up more than 25 percent of the workforce.
  • In 1990, the median age of the American workforce was 32.9 years old. In 2012, it was 37.1 years old.
  • In Japan, almost 71 percent of the nation’s men between the ages of 60 and 64 were still working, with 44.2 percent of women in this age bracket participating in the workforce.
  • American men in this demographic represent 54.7 percent of the workforce, with 47.2 percent of women also falling into this category.

Global Economic Uncertainty The reasons for the rise in the number of mature workers choosing to remain in the workforce are complex, but underlying doubts about the global economy underpin many mature workers’ concerns. Although the full retirement age is typically 65, for people born after 1959, this has risen to 67. Industry Brain Drain While many mature workers are choosing to remain in the workforce beyond their anticipated retirement age, these individuals cannot continue working indefinitely. As increasing numbers of mature workers eventually leave the workforce, several major employment sectors stand to lose vast amounts of knowledge and accumulated experience.



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