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Voices of Experience: Understanding perceptions and barriers of older workers

Voices of Experience: Understanding perceptions and barriers of older workers

Publish Date: October 2, 2017

Pittsburgh is growing older. In 2010, people 55 years and older accounted for 31 percent of the total population. In 2015, the percentage jumped to 34 percent. By 2020, the percentage is expected to increase to 36 percent. The region's workforce also is growing older. Roughly 26 percent of workers in the labor market are aged 55 years old or older; conversely, only 12 percent of workers are under the age of 25.

As the number of older workers continues to surpass the number of young people entering the local labor market, maintaining voices of experience and engaging mature workers is critical to maintaining the economic prosperity of the region. However, older workers sometimes face involuntary, unexpected employment disruptions. These disruptions often lead older workers to doubt their future employment opportunities and lose motivation to remain in the labor force.

In this report, we share the voices of mature men and women struggling to overcome barriers to reconnect with employment.