At a summit held earlier this week in Worcester, the Commonwealth Corporation presented research that finds that older workers are expected to account for nearly 27 percent of the Massachusetts workforce by 2020. The reports, entitled The Increased Presence of Older Workers in the Massachusetts Labor Market and Retaining Older Workers, were joint projects with the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University and Community Matters.
The studies find that certain industries have become increasingly dependent on older workers. In 2010, nearly 19 percent of the workers in the professional and business services were at least 55 years old. In Educational and Health Services, nearly one in four workers (24.3 percent) were 55 years or older. And, in repair, maintenance, and personal services, 28.2 percent of workers were 55 years or older.
The research also finds that because of the aging population, the medium age of the Massachusetts population and workforce will continue to increase. In 2009, one out of four people in Massachusetts (25 percent) were 55 years or older, and the medium age was 39. By the year 2030, nearly one out of three Massachusetts residents (32 percent) will be 55 years or older, and the medium age will increase to 40.2.
We are pleased that the Boston Globe today highlighted the research in a front page story, A jobs pinch for the ages.
The Commonwealth Corporation has, and will continue to invest in older worker retaining strategies. In 2010, six businesses and one industry association were awarded with Older Worker Retention Strategy grants find and design successful strategies to retain and support older workers.