Staggering Opportunity: Over the Next Decade, 150 Million Jobs Await Experienced Older Workers

**The Rise of Older Workers: 150 Million More by 2031**

In a new report, Bain & Company predicts that by the end of the decade, there will be an increase of 150 million workers over the age of 55, making up more than a quarter of the workforce in seven countries. This trend is not limited to specific countries, as even China and Brazil are also experiencing a growing number of older workers. The rise in older workers can be attributed to several factors, including fewer younger individuals in the workforce, longer life expectancy, and the need for greater income in retirement. This shift has implications for workplaces around the world, as they are ill-equipped to meet the needs of senior employees.

**The Growing Number of Older Workers**

According to the report, by 2031, older workers will make up more than a quarter of the workforce in seven countries: Canada, Germany, the U.K., Japan, the U.S., France, and Italy. This represents a 10% increase since 2011. However, the trend is not limited to these countries, as even China and Brazil are experiencing a rise in older workers. This shift is due to a combination of factors, including lower fertility rates, longer life expectancy, and the need for greater income in retirement.

**The Impact on Japan and Italy**

The most drastic effects of this trend will be felt in Japan and Italy. Japan has long been facing the challenge of an aging population and declining birth rates. According to the report, older workers will make up 38% of the country’s workforce by 2031. Italy is also facing a similar dilemma, as its birth rate declines and its population ages. It is predicted that by the end of the decade, 32% of the Italian workforce will be made up of older workers. In the U.S., where many older Americans retired during the early pandemic only to find their savings fading away due to high inflation, the share of workers over 55 is projected to reach 25% by 2031, compared to 20% in 2011.

**Workplaces are Ill-Equipped to Meet Senior Employees’ Needs**

Despite the growing number of older workers, workplaces are ill-prepared to address their needs. A study from AARP found that less than 4% of companies have programs to help integrate older workers, and ageism remains unchecked. This lack of assistance disproportionately affects women in the U.S. However, some companies are starting to respond to the needs of their aging employees, realizing that recruiting and retaining older workers can be beneficial, especially in a tight labor market.

**Meeting the Needs of Senior Employees**

Bain & Company suggests a three-step solution to empowering senior employees. First, companies need to examine the motivations of older workers in order to better retain and recruit staff. It is important to understand the factors that drive older workers, such as interesting work, autonomy, and jobs centered around helping others. Second, companies should invest in reskilling older workers to meet the changing needs of the company. This can help older workers stay engaged and productive. Lastly, companies should respect the strengths of older workers, such as their loyalty, mentorship abilities, and overall higher life and job satisfaction.


The rise of older workers is a global trend that is set to continue in the coming years. Workplaces need to adapt and meet the needs of their aging employees in order to retain and recruit top talent. By understanding the motivations of older workers, investing in their reskilling, and respecting their strengths, companies can create an inclusive and supportive work environment for employees of all ages.

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