Generations X, Y and Z consider yourselves warned: the graying of the U.S. workforce continues its ascent and there’s no end in sight. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the “total labor force is expected to increase by 8.5 percent during 2006-2016.” The BLS breaks the employment stats down this way: The BLS breaks the employment stats down this way:
- Ages 16-24 is projected to decline
- Age 25-54 will rise slightly
- Ages 55-64 expected to climb 36.5 percent
- Ages 65-74 will realize an 83.4 percent increase
- Ages 75 and older will increase by 84.3 percent.
The reasons for the continuing escalation of retirees returning to the workforce or continuing to work beyond retirement age are numerous and varied. The older population continues to experience a recession, increasing medical and prescription costs, minimal yields on savings accounts (for those who have one), plummeting 401k values, and decreasing pension packages. At the same time, many are helping their children financially. Tack on escalating costs for utilities, housing, groceries and a stagnant Social Security payments, and you have all the ingredients for uncertainty which contributes to the need to either delay retirement or return to the workforce. The graying escalation in the workforce is mostly visible in the retail and service industries. Ron Borer of Holland, Ohio works part time for EverDry Waterproofing. Often the energetic, affable and married 75-year-old is behind the kiosk at Franklin Park Mall. Borer also represents EverDry at various events in the Toledo area. “I’m not one to sit around and I’m going to work as long as I can,” said Borer, working part-time since he retired in 2005 from a career centered in sales. His income has helped his family with tuition payments, paid household bills and earned money for vacations. He said employers should consider hiring mature citizens because “we’re experienced, we do our job and we don’t screw around.” Other reasons employers lean toward hiring older workers:
- Willingness and flexibility to work a variety of shifts
- Positive attitude
- Willingness to learn new skills
- Work well with mature customers/clients
- Possess an excellent traditional work ethic
Dale Kwapich of Toledo, Ohio, a retired service manager in the automotive industry, returned to the workforce part-time “because there’s only so much grass you can cut and so much sleep you can get.” Kwapich, 73, who has been a bus driver for Lourdes University for the past four years, said the extra income helps with the trips he takes with his wife of 52 years, explaining that “recreational activities take money, and we are on a fixed income like most retirees. Loyd Carol Doran of Toledo, Ohio, a retired LPN, decided to work part-time after retirement for several reasons. “I returned to the workforce with mixed emotions. I could use the extra spending money and wanted to get out of the house a little bit,” said the articulate 83-year-old, who celebrated 61 years of marriage in July. Ms. Doran, who works part-time for Bath Fitter, also at the Franklin Park Mall, said employers hire mature citizens because “I think they see us as more reliable.” Other people such as Arlene Boyles continue to work because it fits well into their lifestyle. Ms. Boyles, who turned 75 this summer, has been practicing dental hygiene for 55 years at the offices of Drs. Ron Jardin, Mark Buganski, & Theresa Duggan on Talmadge Rd. According to co-worker Mary Crown, “her positive attitude, healthy lifestyle, work ethic and friendly disposition has made her a favorite to all her patients (they typically become her friends) and a role model and mentor to countless fellow dental hygienists.” The ladies have worked together in the office for 27 years. Other individuals who refuse to retire are Jerry Sullivan, owner of Black Diamond Nursery, Lawn Service & Landscape. While pushing 90, he looks like a million bucks. Also, Don Decker, once the marketing director for Dana Corporation, now works in real estate for the Loss Real Estate Group. The United States Department of Labor website explains the motivation to hire older workers: “Employers rate older workers high on characteristics such as judgment, commitment to quality, attendance, and punctuality.” These attributes make workers over 60 a great choice to hire.
For information on jobs: www.co.lucas.oh.us