Federal Personnel:

Employment Policy Challenges Created By an Aging Workforce

GGD-93-138: Published: Sep 23, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 1993.

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GAO provided information on work-force aging, focusing on federal government and private-sector employers' efforts to address older-worker issues.

GAO found that: (1) the federal government and private-sector employers could face difficulties in meeting their future employment needs because the large aging baby boom generation is approaching retirement eligibility and the next generation of workers is considerably smaller; (2) the federal government has not developed a sufficient strategy to address its aging workforce; (3) although employers do not value older workers as much as younger workers, older workers often can be as productive, have better work attitudes, and are more reliable than younger workers; (4) although few private sector employers have initiated older-worker programs, several employers have successfully employed older workers; (5) older worker employment programs vary in industrialized countries; (6) Canada and Japan have enacted legislation and initiated programs to encourage employers to retain older workers; (7) the full effects of downsizing on older workers are not known, but many private sector employers offer early retirement incentives; (8) the federal government could meet its future employment needs by making greater use of qualified older workers; and (9) the federal government needs to balance the desires of older employees who wish to remain employed with the employment, mobility, and advancement of younger workers.

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