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Have a Job to Do? Report Says Find an Older Worker

PHOTO: With more older people working and looking for work, a new study concludes the experience workers age 50+ bring to jobs outweighs any potential costs associated with hiring or retaining them. Photo credit: Dwayne_J/Morguefile.com
PHOTO: With more older people working and looking for work, a new study concludes the experience workers age 50+ bring to jobs outweighs any potential costs associated with hiring or retaining them. Photo credit: Dwayne_J/Morguefile.com
May 11, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. - In North Carolina and the nation, more older workers are on the job and looking for work and a new study finds hiring them makes good business sense. The report from AARP shows companies look to older workers for their knowledge and management skills.

Angela Cortez, spokeswoman with AARP, says any costs associated with hiring and retaining those 50+ 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," says Cortez. "Older workers, workers 50+, are more likely to stay on the job longer."

The study says the number of workers younger than age 50 is expected to decrease by three percent from 2002 until 2022, while the number of 50+ workers is anticipated to grow by 62 percent.

Cortez admits there are potential cost differences in hiring and retaining older workers, but she notes retirement plans aren't what they used to be, and older workers tend to be more healthy. Cortez says the AARP study finds workers 50+ bring valuable attributes to the job.

"They come to the job with experience, they're very professional, they have a strong work ethic," she says. "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+ 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+ Job Seeker Series.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC