It’s been widely reported that the contingent workforce is growing at a steady rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the temporary services industry added almost half million workers and accounted for 91% of total job growth between June 2009 – June 2011. But what does this growth mean for our ageing workforce here in the U.S.?
Between 2010 and 2030, the number of Americans between 25 and 64 will climb by 16 million and two-thirds of the increase will consist of people aged between 55 and 64.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts substantial increases in the labor force participation rates of the 55 and older population and anticipates that about half of worker’s approaching 65-70 year-olds will work.
This will come as no surprise to the so-called Baby Boomer generation. With the majority of their working lives blighted by multiple recessions and shrinking pension funds, Department of Labor Poll Data indicates that most Boomers actually expect to work beyond the age of 65.
Of course, being faced with a smaller nest-egg than anticipated is not the only reason that older workers want to continue working. Baby Boomers are re-defining old age, and many of them who have worked hard to build a good professional reputation are reluctant to give it up entirely. They are also keen to share their knowledge with younger leaders.
A Gallup Poll suggested that 8 in 10 American workers think they will continue working full or part time after they reach retirement age and 44% say they will do so because they "want to" rather than because they "will have to." Overall, most workers expect to work part time after retirement age (63%), rather than working full time or stop working altogether.
Of course, this is excellent new for employers. By 2015, one in five workers will be 55 or older, which would result in a critical shortage of qualified workers if everybody retired at 65. In fact, engaging older workers part-time or on a contingent basis has many benefits for the employer as well as the worker.
The worker gets the opportunity to supplement their pension with an additional income, greater work/life balance flexibility and the chance to contribute their wealth of skills and experience to their chosen organization. On the other hand, Employers get additional, highly-skilled and experienced help as well as the valuable opportunity to transfer knowledge from workers who are retiring, to their Gen X and Y successors at a reasonable cost.
Bringing back retirees and other company alumni as consultants is normally much more cost effective than hiring in new, external agency help.
Looking to lower the cost of hiring back retirees as contractors? Talk to us about how we can reduce the cost of engaging project-based workers and contractors by employing your company alumni on a contingent basis.