Next Avenue: Why a lot of age-friendly jobs aren’t going to older workers

by | Feb 13, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from There’s good news and weird news when it comes to age-friendly jobs in America. The good news, according to a recent research paper, “The Rise of Age-Friendly Jobs,” by three noted economists, is that between 1990 and 2020, roughly three-quarters of U.S. occupations increased their age-friendliness. Specifically, employment in what these economists call “above-average age-friendly occupations” rose by 49 million over that 30-year period.

A head-scratching finding “I thought there’d be an increase in the number of age-friendly jobs, but I was staggered at how big the increase was,” says Andrew Scott, a London Business School economics professor who wrote the paper with MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Nicolaj Søndergaard Mühlbach of the McKinsey consulting firm. Now for the weird part: You’d expect that older workers — age 50 and older — would be the big beneficiaries of the rise in age-friendly jobs, but they aren’t. Despite a 33.1 million rise in people employed in the most age-friendly occupations from 1990 to 2020, only 15.2 million were workers over 50. The paper’s researchers found that age-friendly jobs have disproportionately gone to younger women and college graduates of all ages. “Non-college grads, and particularly male non-grads, are losing out. They tend to work in the least age-friendly jobs,” says Scott, co-author of “The 100-Year Life” and “The New Long Life.” …

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