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Report: Older Workers Good for Business

PHOTO: With more older people working and looking for work, a new study concludes the experience workers age 50-plus bring to jobs outweighs any potential costs associated with hiring or retaining them. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor.
PHOTO: With more older people working and looking for work, a new study concludes the experience workers age 50-plus bring to jobs outweighs any potential costs associated with hiring or retaining them. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor.
May 7, 2015

DENVER – The trend in Colorado and the nation finds an increase in the number of older workers on the job and looking for work – and a new study finds hiring them makes good business sense.

The study from AARP shows that companies look to older workers for their knowledge and management skills.

Angela Cortez, communications director for AARP Colorado, says any costs associated with hiring and retaining those age 50-plus are outweighed by the value of their experience.

"It costs a lot of money when you have to rehire somebody, retrain them, and then they turn around and they leave again,” she points out. “Older workers, workers 50 plus, are more likely to stay on the job longer."

The study indicates the number of workers under age 50 is expected to decrease by 3 percent from 2002 until 2022, while the number of 50-plus workers is anticipated to grow by 62 percent.

Cortez admits 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 healthier.

She stresses the AARP study finds workers 50-plus bring valuable attributes to the job.

"They come to the job with experience, they're very professional, they have a strong work ethic,” she explains. “When you have an older worker, you have lower turnover and you have that institutional knowledge of the company and of the industry that they bring to the table that's really important."

Since the recession, 50-plus job seekers have continued to wait 12 to 18 months longer than the rest of the population to land a job.

Cortez says experienced workers seeking employment or looking to change jobs can get help both in person and online through the AARP 50-plus Job Seeker Series.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO