An October report by the Oregon Department of Employment found that the proportion of older workers aged 55 and over across the state has tripled in the past three decades – while the total number of jobs has increased by only about 50%.
According to the report, these aging workers accounted for just over 10% of jobs in the state in 1992, but that number rose to 24% by 2019. The report cited that the large generation of baby boomers, 55 years and older today, are more likely to remain in employment at that age than previous generations.
“It is important to consider the implications for the future ability of companies to recruit sufficient workers,” Gail Krumenauer, state employment economist and author of the report, told the Business Tribune. “We are already in a situation with an unemployment rate of 4.4%, which is really low by historical standards. Employers are currently struggling to find all the workers they want or need to hire.”
Many of these aging workers plan to retire – and also withdraw their skills and knowledge – within the next decade – and the entrepreneurs have to somehow replace them.
“Although we should see some of these current (recruitment) difficulties alleviate in the coming months, this will be a different but persistent one in the longer term with more workers hoping to retire in the coming years Source of difficulties for them to create is having enough manpower available, “said Krumenauer.
The report found that this trend of the aging workforce will accelerate in the near future. It also found that the pace of retirement will accelerate in industries with a higher proportion of older workers. Oregon’s health care industry has the most older workers, the report says – and rural counties have even more older workers.
However, employers in the Portland subway counties will find larger groups of young workers to recruit from as they replace retirees in general, the report said.
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