UPfront: Don’t knock age

During economic downturn, those over certain age who’ve ratcheted their way up pay scales tend to be first in the firing line for companies trying to save costs.

When jobs are short, the 50-somethings face job discrimination because less experienced but cheaper ‘young bloods’ look more appealing. That is happening in some economies right now, but companies should beware – statistics are definitely on the side of so-called “snowbirds”.

Baby boomers will soon start hitting retirement age and demographic trends suggest they’ll leave an unfillable hole in the workforce. Growth in the 20-40 year-old group has dropped from 24 percent in the decade to 1992 to an estimated two percent over the next decade.

Which means companies with an eye to the future are already finding ways to court older skilled staff – often with flexible work arrangements allowing them to stay in work longer. Evidence suggests this will become growing trend.

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