Older women will be the workers of the future

The workforce of the future will consist of more women and more over-55s, a new report on the Australian labour market has found.

Global consultancy group Mercer, in its Workplace 2012 report, found that the number of employees aged over 55 years will increase by 14%, or 224,000 people, by 2012. Older employees will make up nearly 17% of the workforce.

By contrast, growth the number of employees in 25 to 45 age group will be only 5%.

Women will stay in the workforce for longer, with a projected 19% increase in the number of working women aged more than 55 by 2012. Older men’s participation will increase by 10%.

“The research debunks the perception that employers should focus on attracting and retaining Generation-Y workers, because the reality is that older employees will make up a considerable proportion of the workforce,” says Mercer’s head of retirement business, Tim Jenkins.

“In four short years there will be close to a quarter of a million more workers aged 55-plus in the Australian labour force, and assumptions about what an employer should expect from an employee, and vice versa, have to change.”

Mercer commissioned economic consultancy Econtech to model the profile of Australia’s workforce in 2012 to help employers identify future trends in workforce characteristics.

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