Editor’s picks

Latest news from around the world on mature workers for June 2020.

  • Economists forecast the unemployment rate in Japan will hit four percent by the end of the year

    Many countries would welcome an unemployment rate of “only” four percent, with the luxury of having more jobs than jobseekers. So why has Japan’s rate stayed so low? One major explanation lies in the country’s dearth of workers owing to an ageing population. Japan has the world’s only “super-aged” society where more than 28 percent of people are 65 and over. This means firms are reluctant to lay people off even during a recession, as they fear they will have few options to recruit when the crisis passes.  – Yahoo News, 30 June 2020

  • Average healthy working life expectancy is six years below the state pension age (UK)

    Lancet study finds workers aged 50 can expect an average of nine more healthy years while employed, calling into question the current UK state pension age of 65.  – iNews, 30 June 2020

  • Reviving Britain’s Economy Is Tough With an Aging Workforce

    With the country in recession and Brexit shrinking the pool of labor, industries are calling on the government to retrain younger workers.  – Bloomberg, 29 June 2020

  • Providing for an ageing population (Malaysia)

    The changing world of work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for Malaysia to enhance its social protection policies.

    Among the groups that will require more comprehensive social protection is the older generation, both now and in the future. Malaysia officially became an ageing country this year with the percentage of its population aged 65 and above hitting 7.5%. We are predicted to be an aged society by 2044, when 65-year-olds and above make up 14% of the population.  – The Star, 28 June 2020

  • Aging is a woman’s secret power — and the data proves it (USA)

    Right now, older women face a double challenge of ageism and sexism, and a common response to these obstacles is to feel uncomfortable as one ages and try to hide it to the extent possible. But in fact, being older is a tremendous advantage for many women, particularly women in leadership positions.

    What we found through a blend of research scales and open-ended questions is that older people are happier than other age groups and far more productive than commonly believed.  – NBC News, 30 June 2020

  • Universal Credit claims by over 50s soar – Boris told ‘wake up’ as state pension age rises (UK)

    The number of Universal Credit claims made by people who are aged over 50 has more than doubled in May compared to March this year. Rest Less – a jobs, money and lifestyle site for the over 50s – says the rise of those claiming Universal Credit in this demographic is of particular concern, as it highlights the number of over 50s who have less than £16,000 in savings – thus meeting the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit.  – The Express, 28 June 2020

  • Japan’s soldiers are greying. Time to draft robots?

    Recruiting more women might help, too.

    Bright young faces gaze out from a recruitment poster on the thick grey walls of the Defence Ministry in central Tokyo. But in greying Japan, finding enough youngsters to fill the ranks has become, by the ministry’s own admission, “an imminent challenge”. The number of Japanese between 18 and 26 years old, long the prime recruiting pool, peaked at 17m in 1994. It has since fallen to 11m. By 2050 it will sink below 8m. “Young blood is what all militaries need, and it’s exactly what we’re lacking,” says Yamaguchi Noboru, a retired lieutenant-general in the Self-Defence Forces (sdf), as the country calls its army, in deference to its pacifist constitution.  – The Economist, 27 June 2020

  • A Pandemic Problem for Older Workers: Will They Have to Retire Sooner? (USA)

    They face particular challenges brought on by Covid-19 — issues, experts say, that could lead to retirement earlier than planned.  – New York Times, 26 June 2020

  • Doctors are suing over age-based screening requirements (USA)

    Irwin Nash was 73 years old when he filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Yale New Haven Hospital, the primary teaching hospital affiliated with Yale School of Medicine. The EEOC, earlier this year, charged the health system with violating the law by requiring employees to complete cognitive and eye exams to maintain hospital privileges after age 70. Nash had passed the examinations, but the lawsuit alleges that the screening requirements subjected him and others “to the stigma of being singled out because of their age.” – Quartz, 25 June 2020

  • Is This The End Of Retirement?

    It is time to ask whether retirement remains a viable option for many (if not most) older workers due to back-to-back economic disasters and epidemic age discrimination.  – Forbes, 23 June 2020

  • Retirement timelines and COVID19: Which workers are able to work remotely? (USA)

    COVID19 is disrupting retirement timelines for American workers. The pandemic has thrown millions of people out of their jobs prematurely, and many will have trouble getting new jobs as the economy remains depressed for years to come. So work-from-home options can be a job saver for some. But how many older workers hold jobs that can be performed from home – and are these workers able to actually do those jobs? A recent Center for Retirement Research at Boston College study finds that older workers are just as likely as younger groups to hold jobs that can be done remotely. The study also busts the myth that older workers are not computer savvy – a claim that has contributed to age discrimination over the years.  – Retirement Revised, 20 June 2020

  • Law barring disclosure of actors’ ages violates 1st Amendment, appeals court rules (USA)

    A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a California law that barred IMDb and other internet sites from disclosing the ages of screen actors. The 2017 law, which the Screen Actors Guild had sought as a means to reduce age discrimination, violates the 1st Amendment, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided unanimously.  – LA Times, 19 June 2020

  • Telework divide: teleworking and digital, ergonomic and spatial issues

    Compared to other changes induced by the pandemic, telework will stay and it will be part of our working life experience. Nevertheless, the change to work from home might have a negative impact in the long run, if employers do not take into consideration the workers’ needs. Older workers are also a part of this innovation and they should not be left behind because of the nature of the job they perform or because of a negative stereotype on their ability to succeed. We, therefore, emphasise the inclusion of older adults in tech development and encourage employers to discuss work spatial and ergonomics issues with their employees to provide the most enabling work environment to maximise the realization of the employees’ potential and well-being. COVID-19 pushed the labour market to face the new realities, and it’s up to the employers, whether it will become a crucial challenge or a new opportunity for development.  – Euro Ageism, June 2020

  • Research suggests COVID-19 crisis may leave next generation of retirees poorer and sicker (UK)

    A new study commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better has signalled that the legacy of the coronavirus lockdown may be a ‘lost generation’ of individuals entering retirement poorer, both in terms of their health and financial situation.

    The organisation has warned that the COVID-19 crisis could lead to a generation of people in their 50s and 60s entering retirement in poor health and without enough money to support themselves.  – THIIS (The Homecare Industry Information Service), 18 June 2020

  • Who cares for the care givers? (Malaysia)

    Even before Covid-19, the world was facing a care crisis. The plight of often neglected, under-appreciated, under-protected and poorly equipped frontline health personnel working to contain the pandemic has drawn attention to the tip of the care crisis iceberg.  – The Sun Daily, 14 June 2020

  • Long-Term Trends in Employment by Age Group (USA)

    Since January 2000, the participation rate for all the elderly has soared by 61.6 percent and for elderly women by 81.1 percent. The directional arrows highlight a striking trend for the older cohorts. The growth for women has a more dramatic upward slope. The growth for men reached a high in May 2013, contracted until early 2015 and reached an all-time peak in February of 2017. The growth for women is just below its all-time peak.  – Advisor Perspectives, 9 June 2020

  • How should employers adapt to an older workforce?

    A new book looks at how employers and others should adapt to an ageing workforce and one which is likely to retire later – or to work beyond retirement. The New Long Life by economist Andrew J Scott and psychologist Lynda Gratton looks at the questions thrown up in relation to society and our place in it and examines what might be required of education, government and business.  – Working Wise, 8 June 2020

  • Will The Current Pandemic Increase Age Discrimination In The Workplace?

    With the COVID-19 pandemic among us, some Americans in their 40s, 50s and 60s cannot help but wonder if age discrimination will continue to affect their ability to succeed in the workplace.  – Forbes, 2 June 2020

  • Jobless older workers: It’s different this time

    In most recessions, older workers are less likely to lose their jobs than their younger counterparts. But older workers who do become unemployed tend to be out of work much longer than their younger counterparts, and they often go back to work for significantly less pay.

    That certainly is how the labor market played out in the Great Recession that began in the fall of 2008. But this recession is looking different.  – Retirement Revised, 6 June 2020

  • How the Pandemic Has Created New Demand for Older Workers

    Amid the horrifying loss of jobs brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been one countervailing force: an urgent demand for medical and technology professionals to return to work from retirement or a career break.

    Returning physicians and nurses, along with technologists proficient in the “ancient” COBOL coding language that many states still use in processing unemployment claims, are helping society — and this has put these “relaunching” professionals in the spotlight. More than ever before, they are being embraced and brought back to work as fast as they can make themselves available.  – Harvard Business Review, 4 June 2020

  • Exploding the Myths About Aging

    We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing – George Bernard Shaw

    For all that we are regularly besieged with slogans such as “60 is the new 40”,  many people continue to view growing older with a sense of dread.  Despite decades of research into human aging, not to mention the fact that people are living longer and more productive lives, there still seems to be a popular belief that older adults have nothing to look forward to but worsening health problems and becoming a burden on society.  – Psychology Today, 1 June 2020