150 million jobs globally will shift to older workers


Older workers are filling more jobs. Research from Bain & Co. found that 150 million jobs across the globe will shift to workers over the age of 55 by the year 2030.

The trend is most pronounced in high-income countries. In Japan, workers 55 and older will approach 40% of the workforce by the end of the decade. However, the shift will impact low- and middle-income countries as well. In Brazil, the proportion of workers over age 55 is rising to the mid-teens.

Bain noted fewer young people are entering the workforce and a long-term trend toward earlier retirement has reversed. It found 41% of American workers expect to work beyond age 65, while 30 years ago the percentage was 12%.

“There was an increase in retirements in some countries during the peak-Covid Great Resignation, but that moment is now looking more like the Great Sabbatical as those workers increasingly return to work,” said James Root, partner at Bain & Co. and co-chair of the firm’s think tank, Bain Futures. “People work longer into their lives, yet we’ve found it rare to see organizations put programs in place to fully integrate older workers into their talent system.”

However, Bain noted workers’ priorities evolve as they age, and the average worker over 60 is most focused on doing interesting work in a job where they have autonomy and flexibility. For the research, Bain interviewed 40,000 workers across 19 countries.

Still, older workers in the US are offered training less often than their younger counterparts. And 22% of workers globally between the ages of 55 and 64 say they need more tech skills.

“With the right tool kit, aging workers can help employers get ahead of their talent gaps and create high-quality jobs that turn older workers’ skills and experience into a competitive advantage,” said Andrew Schwedel, partner at Bain & Co. and co-chair of Bain Futures. “Companies that invest in recruiting, retaining, reskilling and respecting the strengths of this group will set themselves up for success as the demographics of the workforce continue to shift.”