The workforce is getting older

Increasingly, many workers in Tennessee and around the country continue working after the age of 55 instead of retiring. People who were born between 1946 and 1964, the so-called ‘baby boomers,” are staying in their jobs longer than previous generations. As a result, the country’s workforce is aging along with baby boomers, and the demographics of U.S. workers are changing.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections has been studying the aging workforce. According to one BLS economist, baby boomers have been increasing their work participation rate each year since the 1990s. Several factors such as economic problems, increased lifespan and changes to retirement plans may be influencing the baby boomer generation’s work participation rate.

An older workforce may have an effect on workplace injury and death rates. Although older workers are actually less likely to be injured on the job than younger workers, injury recovery time is longer for older workers because their injuries are more likely to be severe. In addition, workers who are age 65 and older are injured in slips, trips and falls at twice the rate of workers who are under age 45.

Regardless of age, a worker who is injured on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which can include the provision of medical care and treatment as well as reimbursement of previously-paid medical expenses. In some cases, injured workers may be entitled to receive a portion of wages lost during the recovery period. An attorney who has experience in these types of matters can often assist in the preparation and filing of the required claim.