As we rewrite the rules for more-old-than-young societies, “earning longer” is a high priority. The United Nations, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and AARP are Age Friendly workforce leaders, organizing programs and providing leverageable resources and data.

Want to learn about Encore Network members’ workforce efforts? Register here for our Age Friendly Workforce webinar, March 31, 4pm ET, 3pm CT, 2pm MT, 1pm PT.

An OECD analysis shows that, on average, countries would achieve a 19% increase in real GDP per capita by 2050 if older worker participation increased to the level of Iceland, which has the highest older adult participation rate. Training, caregiving support, anti-ageism programs, and policy and law changes are needed to engage older adults as full workforce participants.

AARP launched its Living, Learning and Earning Longer effort in 2019, partnering with the World Economic Forum and 50 global corporations. Its two-year project defines the business case for an age-diverse workforce. Insights from the project will be available in a digital learning platform to be launched at the 2021 World Economic Forum.

In February, AARP and the United Nations hosted a Living, Learning and Earning Longer program, featuring the UN General Assembly president and AARP President Joann Jenkins. Executives from global employers BlackRock, Mercer, Reuters, and S&P Global highlighted successful practices, including upskilling for all employees, internal mobility for older workers, age-diverse teams, and tracking hiring, promotion and retention statistics for all employees.

Read highlights from AARP reports below, as well as links to the full reports.

The 2019 AARP Longevity Report notes:

  • Economic contributions from older adults will grow over time, benefitting people of all ages and generations. People 50-plus currently contribute $8.3 trillion to the U.S. economy each year, 40% of U.S. GDP through paid and unpaid work and the services and products they buy. In 2030, when the first millennials turn 50, the 50-plus age group will contribute $12.9 trillion to the U.S. economy.
  • Older adults drive the consumer economy: 56 cents of every dollar spent in the U.S in 2018 were attributable to the 50-plus population. By 2050, this share will increase to 61 cents.

A related report, The Economic Impact of Age Discrimination, concluded that the economic contribution of people 50-plus age could increase by $3.9 trillion annually in a no-age-bias economy, adding $32.1 trillion to GDP by 2050.


Published: February 24, 2020