Wow! That is a title that evokes fear and perhaps a chuckle at the same time. For anything to keep the attention of the media or perhaps even maintain the interest of our information overloaded minds, it needs a catchy moniker. The Beatles started the “British Invasion” that “Baby Boomers” all know. The Boomers have moved onto “Reality TV” and “hashtagging.” Lots to be said for a well-crafted handle!
The “Silver Tsunami” is the title associated with the aging workforce demographic that threatens to overwhelm employers. While it is a global issue, this issue is most alarming in the U.S. and in Western Europe. Global talent will be more difficult to find and retain as the older employees retire in record numbers. Employers will be looking to recruitment professionals to locate the unique skill sets that will be lost in the decades ahead.
Every day in the U.S., 10,000 people turn 65 years of age. This has been the case since 2011. Many older workers have extended their careers and continued their employment as they waited for their retirement portfolios to recover from the Global Financial Crisis. During the GFC, many that were not prepared to retire were laid off or were forced into early retirement. With portfolios recovering, more baby boomers are making a conscious choice to retire now.
Some facts from the U.S. Census to consider:
- In 2012, 21.3% of U.S. men over the age of 65 remain in the labor force.
- In 1990, only 17.6% of men over 65 were working.
- In 2012, 13.4% of women over 65 remain working.
- In 1990, only 8.4% of women over 65 were continuing to work.
- People over 65 represent 13.7% of the total U.S. population
- In 2010, 19% of the total workforce was made up of employees over 55.
- It is expected to rise to 24% of the workforce by 2050.
What is interesting is that the Silver Tsunami is working both sides of the same issue. Older worker are leaving in high numbers which is one challenge and on the other hand, older workers will make up more of the workforce moving forward…a different but related issue.
As a recruiter, HR professional, or employer do you have a strategy to find, keep and value older workers as a part of your work force plan?
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