Magazine article The Futurist

Senior Workers on the Rise

Magazine article The Futurist

Senior Workers on the Rise

Article excerpt

The twenty-first century will see a boom in older workers, thanks to the aging of the baby-boom generation. These older workers will increasingly forgo full retirement, staying at their current jobs longer or starting new careers.

The less physically demanding work of the Information Age has allowed many older people to stay productive longer, but people are also staying physically fit for more years. For instance, an 88-year-old construction worker, Walter Burnette of Laurel Fork, Virginia, still works 40 hours a week as a steam shovel operator at a rock quarry, according to Green Thumb, a nonprofit organization providing training and employment opportunities for older workers.

"Work as long as you can--you stay in much better health," advises Burnette, the 1998 winner of Green Thumb's Prime Time Award for Outstanding Older Worker. (This year's honorees will be announced in October.)

Labor force participation rates are expected to accelerate in the years ahead as the baby boomers enter their "retirement" years with the need, desire, and energy to continue working. …

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