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Report: Myth Busting on Cost of Older Workers

Research from AARP crunches the potential costs of employing older workers and finds the value experience outweighs the cost. Credit - Wikimedia Commons
Research from AARP crunches the potential costs of employing older workers and finds the value experience outweighs the cost. Credit - Wikimedia Commons
May 4, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. – The trend in New England and the nation finds an increase in the number of older workers on the job and looking for work, and a recent study is doing some myth busting about the supposed costs of those workers.

Laura Bos, manager of education and outreach for financial security with AARP, says many companies look to older workers for their knowledge and management skills, and AARP's study shows that any costs associated with hiring and retaining those age 50-plus is outweighed by the value of their experience.

"The business case for hiring and retaining workers 50-plus is strong,” she points out. “And it's even stronger than it was 10 years ago when we first did this study."

Bos says the AARP study finds professionalism, work ethic and low turnover are among the valuable attributes that workers 50-plus bring to the job. She says Connecticut is ahead of the tide with older workers comprising about 37 percent of the workforce.

Bos concedes there are potential cost differences in hiring and retaining older workers, but she notes that retirement plans aren't what they used to be, and older workers tend to be more healthy – and that's tilting the scales.

"The cost differential between hiring an older worker and younger workers has actually shrunk somewhat,” she states. “And our study shows that really the value of older workers can more than offset that cost."

Bos adds there are potential benefits for employers because older workers tend to be more engaged.

"They're more likely to say that even if they had the opportunity they would not leave their job because they're committed to the company – that, it would take a lot for them to leave their company," she explains.

Experienced workers seeking employment or looking to change jobs can get help both in person and on-line through the AARP 50-plus Job Seeker Series.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT