Department of Labor Issues Briefs on Recommendations for an Aging Workforce

 
Monday, April 1, 2013
 

Providing accommodations to aging workers with disabilities, chronic health problems or reduced work capacity can help employers retain experienced staff who might otherwise leave the workforce prematurely, according to two briefs issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The briefs provide recommendations for state and federal policymakers, employers and health care industry leaders on retaining critical talent. One identifies successful strategies, including supportive policies, for retaining aging health care professionals without sacrificing patient care. The other recommends that employers and policymakers adopt early interventions to prevent disability-related job loss by providing workers with assistive technology and other workplace accommodations.

The briefs summarize assessments and recommendations from two conferences sponsored by the department's Office of Disability Employment Policy that gathered experts on aging, disability and employment to discuss the impact of aging on the national workforce and health care systems. The U.S Census Bureau projects that, by 2020, many of the 25 million baby boomers that make up more than 40 percent of the current U.S. labor force will exit, leaving many jobs unfilled and taking decades of accumulated knowledge with them. In addition, as the population ages, the demand for health care services will increase just as many health care workers are facing retirement.

To read the issue briefs, visit ODEP's Web page at http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/OlderWorkers.htm .

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