South-Western - Management  
Older Workers Are Thriving Despite Recent Hard Times
Topic Managing Individuals and Teams
Key Words Older workers, age discrimination
News Story 

Older workers are the only age group thriving in the jobless recovery. Those aged 55-64 make up 12 percent of the nation's workers, up from 10.2 percent in 2000. In addition, this group is receiving more than their share of the raises in America today. The reasons vary.

For men, the reasons for staying employed are often financial: they are trying to recoup lost pay after a layoff, or they can't afford to retire. Many women entered the workforce in their 40s after raising children, and consider themselves in midcareer, or they have not worked long enough or saved enough to retire. Union membership may have played a role in lifting the wages of this group, since older workers are more likely to be union members.

In the early 90s, early retirement packages helped thin the ranks of older workers. Some workers opted for early retirement, and then took another job because they were still young and wanted to work, or because their pension plans weren't sufficient to support them.

Employers are finding the value in older, more experienced workers and are holding onto them longer, particularly in the face of less younger workers to hire, now that the youngest baby boomers are 38. Age discrimination laws have protected older workers from losing jobs, also.


What laws specifically protect older workers from age discrimination?


Summarize the reasons why the percentage of workers aged 55-64 has increased in America in recent years.

Source "Older Workers Are Thriving Despite Recent Hard Times," The New York Times, September 8, 2003.
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