Seniors in the Labor Force
Two demographic trends will have a "scissors effect" on Ohio over the next decade, according to a study published last week. The 65 and over population is steadily rising and retiring, while the number of adult workers under 65 is decreasing. That translates into more expense for government and less revenue from sales and income taxes, says John Honeck of the Center for Community Solutions. That's because retired seniors typically buy less and have less income than in their working years. One answer is to keep boomers in the labor force.
"There is a new word for retirement. It's called work," says AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. Speaking on The Sound of Ideas Monday, LeaMond said she sees signs more seniors want to work, or need to work. Honeck, a policy analyst with CCS, the Ohio research and advocacy group, said on the program that the state needs more conversation about obstacles to those 65 and over. "Is it ergonomic changes in the workplace" that are needed "to make the physical environment more accommodating to seniors? Is it more flexible schedules?" Or, is a lack of transportation for easy commutes to work a problem for seniors? Professor M.C. Hokenstad of Case Western Reserve University's School of Applied Social Sciences said about 18% of Ohioans over 65 work now. He expects that to grow to about 23% over the next eight years.