With an Aging Workforce, Businesses Need to Balance the Fruits of Experience with Rising Workforce Costs

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How can businesses effectively address the diverse needs of an aging workforce while managing the associated costs? The increasing presence of older employees brings a wealth of experience and stability to the workplace, yet it also demands significant investment in continuous training and updated benefits to match their evolving needs.

As of 2023, according to fresh Pew Research Center data, the number of working Americans aged 65 and older has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, with these older workers now earning an average of $22 per hour, a significant reduction in the wage gap with younger workers aged 25 to 64. This demographic shift is accompanied by an increase in full-time employment, higher education levels, and diverse racial and ethnic representation among older workers.

What are some of the opportunities and challenges for businesses that come with an aging workforce, and a larger share of the workforce being 65 and older Americans at that? Mfon Akpan, DBA, CGMA, an accounting and financial management researcher and Assistant Professor of Accounting at Methodist University, explains how this shift can both enhance productivity, while also prove costly for managing a varied demographic.

“Business organizations may see shifts around operating expenses tied to training and development…to keep older employees more up-to-date as technology is changing,” Akpan said. “A benefit would be, by having a broad demographic base, that leads to a greater experience among the workforce, a diverse set of ideas, younger employees interacting with more experienced, older employees.”

Article written by Daniel Litwin.

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