The effects of an aging workforce

Group 152

Table of Contents

Due to advancements in technology and improvements in medical treatment, Americans are living longer and staying healthy longer then ever before. And many are working longer, as well. The US Department of Labor reports that from 1977 to 2007, employment of workers over the age of 65 increased 101%.

People past the “retirement age” are staying at their jobs longer or starting second careers. Some cannot afford to retire. Others enjoy the social or intellectual elements of the workplace.

The workforce is aging. The US Department of Labor reports that from 2006-2016, workers age 55-64 will climb by 36.5%. But the most dramatic growth should be for the two oldest groups. Workers 65to 74 and 75+ may soar by more than 80%.

Under Minnesota workers’ compensation law, an employer takes their employees as it finds them. It is safe to say that older employees are more likely to suffer certain injuries, such as strains or sprains, than younger employees.

Older bodies are more susceptible to injury and slower to recover. As a result, an older workforce may lead to more soft tissue injuries with longer periods of recovery. Additionally, if an older employee is hurt severely enough, he or she may not be able to return to the work force at all. These types of cases can lead to additional costs to employer and insurer.

Nevertheless, employers and insurers are responsible for benefits. Older employees get the same benefits under workers’ compensation law.