Tags: Eberstadt | older | Americans | workforce

AEI's Eberstadt: Older Americans Must Be More Engaged in Workforce

By    |   Tuesday, 11 March 2014 12:36 PM

The U.S. economy must adapt to an aging population, say Nicholas Eberstadt, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging.

"The key will be finding new solutions to engage older Americans in the workforce," they write in The Wall Street Journal. "Research suggests that keeping older workers engaged in the economy will directly boost gross domestic product."

Work also improves health and satisfaction for older citizens, Eberstadt and Hodin say. They recommend three reforms.

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First, the duo would like to see a change in employment measurement. The employment ratio for Americans older than 55 should be included as a key statistic. "That number would tell us that the 'work rate for older Americans has been rising for 20 years, a rare heartening fact about the U.S. workforce these days," they contend.

"Second, we need policy changes, starting perhaps with a tax credit for firms that invest in training and education for older workers, encouraging what the Japanese are starting to call 'silver entrepreneurs,'" Eberstadt and Hodin note.

Finally, companies must adjust their hiring, training and retention policies to take advantage of older workers, they say.

"America's aging population is a great untapped economic resource. The right policy reforms and business practices could leverage this resource to unleash another century of American economic growth."

Meanwhile, plenty of older workers who lost their job in the Great Recession are having a rough time finding a new one.

"The situation is worse today than it has been in past recoveries," Sara Rix, a senior strategist at the AARP Public Policy Institute, tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "These men and women have little time to recover, and working later in life may be the only way some can make it."

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The U.S. economy must adapt to an aging population, say Nicholas Eberstadt, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging.
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Tuesday, 11 March 2014 12:36 PM
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