U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

Older Workers/Publication

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

OAS

ISSUE DATE

February 27, 2001

RESCISSIONS

 

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

DIRECTIVE : TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION NOTICE NO. 12-00
 
TO : ALL STATE WORKFORCE LIAISONS
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
ALL ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER SYSTEM LEADS
 
FROM : LENITA JACOBS-SIMMONS
Deputy Assistant Secretary
 
SUBJECT : Older Workers: Aging Baby Boomers and Their Implications for Employment and Training Programs

 

  1. Purpose. To announce the publication and distribution of The Aging Baby Boomers In a New Workforce Development System.

  2. Background. About 37 percent of the United States population 16 years and older was born between 1946 and 1964. Collectively, people in this age group are referred to as the Baby Boom generation. This generation has had a profound effect on public policy and society as a whole. At each stage of their life cycle, this group has had an impact on public and private sector services. There is a need for workforce development practitioners to be prepared for the demographic and workforce shifts brought about by the gradual transition of the Baby Boom Generation into retirement. The sheer number of baby boomers now over 77 million people means that as they age, their presence affects the characteristics of the entire population. The demand for employment and training services by older workers will increase as the baby boom generation ages over the next 20 years. The number of persons 45 and older will nearly double between 1995 and 2005 making it important that workforce development programs begin now to prepare for the aging of their participants. This report presents information about the baby boom generation, its demographic and workforce characteristics, and how the generation may affect employment and training programs, in order to provide background for understanding how older workers in general and older disadvantaged workers in particular might be served by the new workforce development systems and one-stop centers.

  3. Implications. The report documents the aging of the population eligible for workforce development programs. The number of economically disadvantaged mature workers (aged 45 to 64) is estimated to increase by 36 percent between 1998 and 2008, while those aged 35 to 44 will probably decrease by about 7.5 percent. About 10 million baby boomers do not have a high school education, and younger boomers, aged 36 to 44 in 2000, without a high school education have experienced a 12 percent decline in median annual income compared to individuals with similar education in their parents' generation. While relatively few older workers participated in federal employment and training programs in the past, this likely will change since the aging baby boomers are the same individuals who as young workers participated in record numbers. To assure that mature workers who need and want to work can stay in the labor force to support their income needs and the workforce needs of the country, State and local Workforce Investment Boards should consider whether current recruitment practices and the design of service delivery systems should be modified.

  4. Distribution. Copies of the report are being sent to State Workforce Liaisons, State Worker Adjustment Liaisons, State Employment Security Agencies, One-stop Center System Leads, ETA Regional Offices and Senior Community Service Employment Program sponsors.

  5. Inquiries. Questions, comments, or requests for additional copies may be addressed to David Richardson, Division of Older Worker Programs, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-4641, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210, telephone: (202) 693-3757.

  6. Attachment. The Aging Baby Boomers In a New Workforce Development System

 

NOTE: Attachment not available to DMS