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Older Americans Will Delay Retirement and Work Longer/Many Employers Find Older Employees Desirable, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Many members of the immense Baby Boom generation are not planning to retire any time soon.  This trend is accelerated by the fact that today’s senior citizens will enjoy much longer life spans than earlier generations.  Many will continue to work simply because they want to remain active, contributing members of society.
The phrase “Baby Boomer” generally refers to the 78 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964.  The term evolved to describe the children of soldiers and war industry workers who were involved in World War II.  When those veterans and workers returned to civilian life, they started or added to families in large numbers.  As a result, this generation is one of the largest demographic segments in the U.S.  
Not long ago, 2011 marked the year when millions began turning traditional retirement age (65).  As Baby Boomers continue to age, America will be experiencing extremely rapid growth in the senior portion of the population.  Many Baby Boomers are leaving their traditional, long-term jobs and turn to part-time work.  Others will continue in their full-time jobs as long as possible.
By the early 2000s, many employers were already developing human resources strategies aimed at hiring or retaining older workers.  On the lower end of the pay scale, retailers like Home Depot, a firm that has been known to need tens of thousands of new hires each year, have found older people to be ideal employees.  They have knowledge that is extremely useful for providing advice and service to shoppers.  They are experienced workers who understand the need to show up on time. 
On the higher end of the employment scale, older workers with long-term experience in scientific and engineering tasks will be vital in keeping the gears of business and industry turning.  During the 2000s boom, when the airline industry saw good growth, rules were altered in the U.S. to enable commercial airline pilots to keep flying until age 65, instead of facing forced retirement at age 60 as they had in the past. 
Industrial firms are dealing with this challenge along two lines:  First, how to document and pass along the immense treasure of work-related knowledge that these employees have, and second, how to keep these employees interested in working later into their lives. 

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