Thursday, March 23, 2023

Where have all the old workers gone and will they ever come back?

Not long ago I found myself at a luncheon in the middle of London, where a famous British business person said something unexpected about the threat of rising inflation.

He said any company with a board member who has been a senior executive for 30 years is doing very well right now.

Why? Because that director previously dealt with high inflation. “I was alive then,” said the man, who was in his early fifties. “But I wasn’t running a company.”

I thought about his words last week as rising energy and food costs pushed inflation rates to a 30-year high in the UK and a 40-year high in the US.

The advantages of experienced veterans in and out of the boardroom have never been more evident.

Yet these same people commit widespread disappearances from their desks at higher rates than their mid-career colleagues in workplaces around the world.

Researchers said in November that nearly 70 percent of the 5 million people who left work in the US during the pandemic were over the age of 55.

In the UK, the employment rate for those over 50 fell twice as much in 2020 compared to those aged 25 to 49.

This could be a welcome development for young workers battling to make their way through a massive demographic wave of job-hogging baby boomers.

And there’s no doubt that many older leavers are happily heading into retirement after a recession, having had more valuable homes and thicker stock portfolios, unlike the previous major recession in 2008-09.

Yet, for workers and employers alike, the picture is far from rosy.

The Gray resignation is in reversal of a significant pre-Covid trend towards the older workforce.

In the US, the percentage of workers aged 55 or older has increased from 13 percent in 2000 to 24 percent in 2019, and similar patterns have emerged elsewhere, which is what a lot of governments want.

He raised the retirement age to allay fears that the aging population would struggle to be supported by a shrinking share of younger workers, fueling a rise in older workers which has been good news for employers in a country like the UK. . This, along with other trends in migration and regulation of the labor market, made it relatively easy for them to hire the workers they needed.

And since many of those workers knew how easily they could be replaced, they agreed to hours and working conditions that were less favorable than their organizations.

The pandemic has put the boot firmly on the other foot. In countless places this month, employers face severe labor shortages, which have led to the cancellation of airline flights, the closure of restaurants and vacant hotel rooms.

It would be a mistake to attribute all this to gray nomads for an idyllic beachside retirement. People over the age of 50 also suffered the brunt of the pandemic’s layoffs in many countries.

Britain’s Center for Aging Better Charities says a third of people in Britain were 50 or older during the pandemic.

And more than 50 were redundant as to the possibility of young workers being re-employed during the pandemic.

It’s Working Podcast

An Example Of Our Working It Image, A Collage Of Two Workers Standing At A Laptop With A Working It Posted Note In The Foreground

Whether you’re the boss, deputy, or on your way out, we’re shaking up the way the world works. This is a podcast about doing things differently.

Join host Isabel Berwick every Wednesday for expert analysis and water cooler chat about curvy workplace trends, the big ideas working today — and the old habits we need to leave behind.

Not all were old enough to qualify for state pensions. It has been devastating on a personal level. But it can also pose major problems for organizations that have become accustomed to a ready supply of older, experienced workers and lack the ability to quickly train new employees.

They’re saying “we have a skills drain”, says Nick Gallimore, director of innovation at Advanced, a UK-based business software group. He spends a lot of time talking to HR directors and says a lack of experienced staff can hit a business hard.

He says the answer is for companies to think more about how to attract and retain such employees.

One way to do this will not be news to any employer who has spent a minute listening to what employees want right now: the continuum of autonomy many people have tasted during the pandemic.

Employees of all ages want more freedom at work. For some grown-ups, there can never be a better time to achieve this.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news