People are working longer for many reasons, including the need or desire to continue generating income and the inability to afford early retirement.. Regardless of their motivation, these employees have decades of experience, and it shows in the wear and tear on their bodies and joints.
The U.S. workforce is now composed of four generations: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. Age ranges for these generations in 2019 were: boomers (55-73); Gen X (39-54); Millennials (23-38); and Gen Z (6-22).
As we enter a new decade, occupational safety and health professionals have a lot to consider. From demographic changes and new regulations to innovative technology and medical advancements, there is a lot to explore.
Examinetics worked with 20 of our client partners and other industry thought leaders to present their thoughts on the trends, challenges and opportunities shaping occupational health. We wanted to know what these industry leaders think are the issues and innovative solutions that will make an impact on our profession in 2020 and beyond.
America’s workforce is aging. According to AARP, nearly half of new jobs in the U.S. last year were filled by workers 55 years or older. Due largely to ongoing labor shortages, this disproportionately small demographic accounted for more than 1.4 million of the 2.9 million new jobs in 2018, many of them in the fast-growing sector of warehousing and distribution centers.
A new study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to determine if demographic changes are behind the continuing decline in workers compensation (WC) claims has yielded some surprising results. Among them: that the aging of the U.S. workforce is not a factor. According to NCCI, WC claims have fallen by nearly one-third in the last ten years, part of a trend that’s been going on for more than two decades. At the same time, the number of workers who are at least 55 years old has doubled since 2000.
Older workers (those ages 55 and older) bring extensive skills, knowledge, and experience built over the course of a lifespan. However, age-related physical and mental changes may affect older workers’ driving. While such changes are normal, they also put older drivers at a greater risk of dying if they are in a motor vehicle crash.
The aging of the U.S. population has led to a number of changes in the workforce, particularly a movement of the worker distribution toward older ages2, 4. By 2022, about one-third (31.9%) of Americans aged 65 to 74 years will still be working (Toosi 2013). The impact of a longer working life can be significant in both positive and negative ways.