Posts Tagged “jobs for seniors”

 Dec 11, 2014

The Australian economy is spluttering and there are worrying signs for 2015.

File photo of workers building cars at the Toyota plant in Melbourne

Mining and industry cuts have boosted the jobless rate. Photo: AAP

Australia dodged a bullet in the global financial crisis, but China’s appetite for coal and iron ore kept the recession wolf that stalked other countries from our door.

That’s all changed now as the latest rise in the jobless rate to 6.3 per cent from 6.2 per cent tells us. Joblessness now sits at a 12-year high.

The economy is still creating jobs, with 42,700 new ones emerging in November, but it needs to create tens of thousands more each month if employment is to stabilise.

• Boomers ‘prospering at expense of the young’: report
• How to avoid a Christmas debt hangover
• How not to pay the ‘Australia tax’

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch economist Saul Eslake told The New Daily that the jobless rate will peak at 6.75 per cent in a year as the economy bottoms and starts to improve.

The trouble is that all but 1800 of those were part-time jobs and the number of people who’d like more work is growing as a result.

You don’t have to look far to see signs of economic weakness.

The most recent GDP figure had the economy growing at only an annualised 2.2 per cent mid year, only two-thirds of the long-term trend.

And in the last week reports tell us consumer and business confidence are on the skids.

Ominously, the big department stores David Jones and Myer are reportedly planning to start their Boxing Day sales before Christmas, and not because Santa is coming early. It’s because shoppers are reluctant to reach for their wallets.

That will be worrying Joe Hockey, who urged consumers to get out and spend, but with people feeling uncertain about their jobs, a Christmas splurge is unlikely.


Up, up and … away?

Unemployment has been rising inexorably for the past 31 months and is now the highest it’s been in 12 years.

The worrying thing about that rise is, it’s the second longest stretch of rising unemployment in almost 60 years, with only the 38-month run-up to the peak of the early 1990s recession when unemployment hit double figures being longer.

For the past decade or more our national income has been driven by a rampaging resources industry that grew to account for about eight per cent of our economy when traditionally it was closer to two per cent.

The multi-billion dollar projects the boom underpinned are mostly built and that means a lot of those people in fluoro jackets earning six-figure salaries are losing their jobs and heading back south in reduced circumstances.

That’s taken a lot of cash out of the economy as will the current collapse of commodity prices driven by oversupply created by a lot of those new projects.

Another boom needed

So we are looking for a new economic champion but there is none stepping up to the plate.

Sure, housing construction is on the up but it isn’t close to taking over from mining construction at its heights.

And there’s lots of well-paying, secure jobs being lost in the car industry and areas like aluminium as Australia deindustrialises.

All that leaves us trapped in a pincer movement with unemployment.

There’s no recession but we are creating about 135,000 jobs a year while we need about 354,000 to hold the employment ship steady.

Australian Industry Group senior economist Julie Toth told The New Daily that there were early positive signs.

“Job ads are improving, but these will probably not translate into positive job growth within the next six to nine months,” Ms Toth said.

“We’re not expecting a strong improvement in employment growth over the next 12 to 18 months.”


Source:  The New Daily



Ageing workforce…Many couples are unable to retire and will have to keep working service industry jobs. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

TWO-THIRDS of Australians expect to keep working well beyond the official retirement age, but many are worried that their ageing bodies won’t let them.

A new study has found that 40 per cent of people hope to work “as long as possible” and another 27 per cent say they will be forced to work into their old age because they will need the money.

However, more than one-quarter believe they will struggle to do their jobs by age 70, says the Galaxy report commissioned by workforce management solutions company Kronos.

Ageing workforce…A new study has revealed that 27 per cent of people say they will be forced to work into their old age because they will need the money. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

And an increasing generation gap in the workplace threatens to drive them out, with tensions stemming from younger workers being unwilling to accept advice from their older colleagues.

“Employers who ignore changes in workplace demographics may find themselves confronting increased office disharmony,” the CEO of Kronos Australia and New Zealand, Peter Harte, said.

He said the trend of working past age 65 would continue to grow because many people wanted to be more active as they aged and others “have no choice but to work for as long as possible”.

Australia’s pension age of 65 is set to rise incrementally to 67 by 2023, then 70 by 2035. The upward shifts start in 2017, moving to 65.5 years.

New trend…Peter Harte, CEO of Kronos Australia and New Zealand said some people retire later to keep active while others have no choice. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

Social research group McCrindle says Australia has 3.45 million people aged over 65, and this is forecast to grow to 4.76 million in 10 years and 7.75 million in 30 years.

McCrindle director of research Claire Madden said people were tempted to stay working for longer by a desire to remain active, scars from the global financial crisis, cost of living pressures, increased lifestyle expectations and even new expense categories such as smartphones and tablet computers.

“The concept of retirement is being redefined by today’s generation of Baby Boomers,” she said.

“They are wanting to remain active contributors and find work is a fulfilling way of doing it.”

Source:  News Corp Australia Network


16 November 2014

Australia is facing a brain drain as a massive wave of skills and experience exit the workforce with
retiring baby boomers, while youth unemployment is 4.5 times higher than the rest of the working
age population, according to the latest AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth report.

AMP.NATSEM: We can work it out – Australia’s Changing Workforce looks at how Australia’s
workforce has changed over time, unemployment across Australia and compared to other countries,
incomes and gender structure of the workforce.
With the baby boomer generation moving into retirement the proportion of older people, those aged
65 and over, will rise to nearly a quarter of the population, from 13.5% to 22.7% in 2050, taking
valuable skills, knowledge and experience from the workforce.
At the same time, the youth unemployment rate, those aged 15 to 19 looking for full time work, is
4.5 times more than it is for those aged 20 and over, at 27.2% compared to 6.2%.
AMP Chief Customer Officer Paul Sainsbury said the AMP.NATSEM report showed the challenges
of Australia’s workforce was two-fold.
“People over 65 are projected to make up nearly a quarter of the population in the future.
“As older people leave the workforce they will take with them skills and experience, while many
young people are struggling to find work. As a consequence, it might mean that younger people are
not getting the experience they need to do these jobs in the future.
“The report highlights the challenges of an ageing population.
“With lower birth rates and much longer life expectancy, it is critically important for people to
adequately plan for their future so they not only enjoy a comfortable retirement, but also Australia
remains prosperous as the workforce composition changes,” Mr Sainsbury said.
The report also finds the representation of women in the workforce has shifted significantly. These
days women are the majority in four out of eight occupation groups measured by the Australian
Census, compared to only two in 1991 and one in 1911.
Key findings: Australia facing a brain drain as baby boomers retire… 2
Challenges of an ageing population
The baby boomer generation is moving into retirement, with the proportion of older people, those
aged 65 and over, expected to rise to nearly a quarter of the population by 2050, jumping from
13.5% in 2010 to 22.7% in 2050. This will see a significant depth of skills, knowledge and
experience move out of the workforce.
Australia’s fertility rate below replacement level
Australia’s fertility rate is below replacement level, meaning the proportion of working age people is
forecast to drop to 60% by 2050, down from 67.4% in 2010.
Youth unemployment
The youth unemployment rate, those aged 15 to 19 who are looking for full time work, is 4.5 times
more than it is for those aged 20 and over. More than 75% of young people work part time, more
than double those aged 20 and over.
International employment comparisons
Australia is in the top 10, at 6%, when it comes to low unemployment. This is significantly lower than
many other countries, particularly parts of southern Europe where unemployment rates above 10%
are common, including Spain (24.5%) and Greece (27.3%), meaning a quarter of their workforce is
Increasing female participation in part time work
Part time employment is increasingly important with around 30.7% employed part time. The large
increase in female participation is a key driver of part time employment with female participation
increasing from 52% to 61% between 1991 and 2011.
Significant structural change
Australian occupations have changed significantly over the past 100 years. Primary producers, such
as farmers, accounted for the highest proportion of the workforce in 1911 at 30%, while today they
make up just 1.3% of the workforce. By contrast, in 1911 only 7% of workers were classed as
professionals, whereas today they make up nearly a quarter of the workforce (22%).
Incomes across industry
Workers in mining have the highest salaries, with a median income of $2134 per week. This
compares to workers in agriculture, forestry and fishing who earn $761 per week, and reflects the
change in demand for occupations such as farming and fishing.
Incomes by occupation
Looking at incomes by occupation, professionals top the list with a median income of $1546 per
week, with labourers having the lowest weekly median income at $892 per week.
State by state
Across Australia, Tasmania has the highest unemployment rate at 7.1%, compared to the national
average of 6%. NSW has the highest income earners in the country, in the Sydney suburbs of
Darling Point, Edgecliff and Point Piper, while Western Australia is home to the second highest
income earners, in the Perth suburbs Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove.
Professor Robert Tanton, of NATSEM, said: “The report shows significant change over the years
resulting in a very uncertain workforce.
“Young people are facing difficulties gaining employment due to changes in technology, tougher
economic conditions and increasing requirements for qualifications, while older people are retiring
and taking skills, experience and knowledge with them,” Mr Tanton said. Australia facing a brain drain as baby boomers retire… 3
Since 2002, AMP and NATSEM have produced a series of reports that open windows on Australian
society, the way we live and work – and our financial and personal aspirations.
AMP publishes these reports to help the community make informed financial and lifestyle decisions
and to contribute to important social and economic policy debate.
Download a full copy of the report at:

Some people find retiring hard to do

There is a fast-growing global trend for people to remain in the workforce well past traditional retirement ages. | Illustration: Carolyn Ridsdale

There is a fast-growing global trend for people to remain in the workforce well past
traditional retirement ages. | Illustration: Carolyn Ridsdale

Some older workers find retiring hard to do. With the right financial advice and lifestyle adjustments, they can continue to work – and it can even prove good for their health.

Jenny and Peter “Herb” Gardner have created what many would regard as an idyllic transition to retirement on their organic vineyard in Canowindra, 300km west of Sydney.

In a textbook example of long-term planning, the Gardners bought the land 13 years ago, planted their first grapes that same year and then built a straw-bale house clad in local clay.

The first vintage of Gardners Ground wine was produced within three years.

Meanwhile Jenny, now 67, and Herb, 70, progressively shed their Sydney life as they became more confident that the “experiment” was working: they sold their inner-city home and eventually their medium-sized industrial business.

Having worked hard throughout their lives, the couple now work about 15 hours a week.

They grow the grapes, organise the wine-making and market their expanding range, calling on professional help and labour when needed.

The Gardners are representative of a fast-growing global trend for people to remain in the workforce well past traditional retirement ages, often reducing their workloads and switching, if possible, to occupations that reflect their personal interests or passions.

A special report this year on the world’s ageing workforce by The Economist magazine’s Intelligence Unit predicts: “Retirement, as experienced by post-war generations, could soon become a thing of the past.” And it seems many workers would welcome the change.

The report, commissioned by human resources and financial consultancy Towers Watson, points to European Commission research suggesting that a majority of Europeans find the prospect of working part-time and receiving a part pension preferable to full retirement.

Certainly, the broad drivers of this trend to working into old age are greater longevity, generally inadequate retirement savings and pressure on government age pensions.

In their late careers, people often want to do what they were once so passionate about in their early careers.– Alison Monroe, Sageco

Yet it appears, at least anecdotally, that increasing numbers of older people, including those with substantial retirement savings, are finding work a more fulfilling way to spend their time than being on a beach or golf course.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Retirement and Retirement Intentions report shows that one in five working Australians over age 45 intends to retire at 70 or older.

Thirteen per cent never intend to retire while another 8 per cent haven’t made up their minds if they will ever retire.

By contrast, the ABS reports the average retirement age of those who retired in the past five years was 61.5 years.

Research reports and media articles tend to focus on how employers can make the most of an older workforce.

Somewhat overlooked are how individuals can best prepare themselves for working past popular retirement ages and how to make the most of the potential health and financial benefits of a longer working life.

Career coach Alison Monroe believes individuals preparing to work beyond traditional retirement ages should create a “life plan” that candidly sets out the state of their health, their personal finances and their career.

And then the plan should set out their aims to make the most of their circumstances.

Monroe, group chief executive of career consultancy Sageco, is a specialist in guiding the careers of an ageing workforce.

When drafting their plan, Monroe suggests that older workers take into account:

  • Health: Question whether you have the physical and mental agility for your present job. Should you consider a less demanding role? Should you take advice about how to improve your health – looking at exercise, stress, diet – to increase your work longevity?
  • Money: Look at your financial position, goals and commitments. And Monroe asks clients: “What does your bucket list look like and how are you going to fund it?” She typically suggests that clients see a financial planner to get a financial plan.
  • Career: Ask yourself some “powerful” questions about how your career is going, Monroe says. What aspects of your career are working well? What could be working better for yourself and your employer? What do you no longer feel skilled in or passionate about? And what work would you love to be doing? With answers to such questions, she believes older workers can create a vision for their future careers.

“In their late careers, people often want to do what they were once so passionate about in their early careers,” Monroe has found.

“But their careers have moved onwards and upwards. Sometimes, it is about designing a role to use your skills and passions even if it may mean giving away managing a team of 60 and a A$100 million budget.”

For some senior executives, the obstacle to taking on a less stressful role and working fewer hours a week is their unwillingness to take a pay cut.

Monroe suggests that executives wanting to keep working until an older age, yet at a slower pace, should be flexible about their remuneration to ensure that they will still offer employers value for money. “Don’t be greedy,” she advises.

With people living longer, the financial abuse of elders is becoming a worrying issue for accountants.

Dr John Lang, director of workplace health consultancy John Lang & Associates, agrees with Monroe about the importance of good health for those intending to work into their sixties and beyond.

He suggests that people with ambitions to work into old age adopt a practical strategy to slow the inevitable physical and cognitive deterioration from growing older.

Lang says the fundamental approach is easy to articulate – eat well, keep fit, manage stress and don’t smoke – but it is difficult for many to implement in middle age if they haven’t developed good habits throughout their lives.

He is convinced that a fit 60-year-old will outperform an unfit 40-year-old

in any standard test of cardiovascular fitness. And Lang emphasises that productive and enjoyable work is actually good for your health.

Financial planner David Rolleston CPA advises typically high net-worth clients who generally intend to keep working past traditional retirement ages – even though they can well afford to retire.

Rolleston, executive director of UBS Wealth Management and a member of CPA Australia’s Retirement Savings Centre of Excellence for retirement savings, says very few of his older clients want to spend their time “sitting on the beach 24/7” or repeatedly travelling the world.

His business-owning clients usually have no intention of ever retiring, while his clients who had careers as corporate executives usually change their work patterns before reaching 65, perhaps taking part-time work or doing something less stressful.

“My experience is that those clients who had retired early, certainly before 65, are generally finding that retirement is not for them,” Rolleston says.

“They miss the work environment so may take up board directorships and/or work with charities.”

Rolleston is finding that more of his clients still only in their forties and fifties are taking a step that is likely to eventually extend their working lives.

“They are taking six to 12 months out of the workforce,” he says, “to travel with the kids overseas or in a campervan around Australia. It recharges their batteries.”

His practical financial planning pointers for anyone considering working beyond 65 include maintaining contributions to superannuation and regularly moving superannuation savings from a so-called accumulation account into a superannuation pension account where fund earnings are not taxed.

He suggests that older working couples adopt strategies to ensure that their superannuation savings are balanced as evenly as possible between spouses.

This is as a precaution in case the law changes to tax earnings of superannuation pension accounts or superannuation pensions (which in Australia are tax-free for people aged over 60).

Reluctant retirees

Rolleston believes that working past popular retirement ages provides a “critical” opportunity to try to pay off any debts. “You don’t want to go into retirement with debt – it is very hard for retirees to get out of.”

Michael Rice, chief executive of Rice Warner, which specialises in wealth management research and advice, says individuals can potentially boost their eventual retirement income by perhaps 20 to 30 per cent by retiring at 70 rather than 65 – depending on the circumstances.

This is because their superannuation will benefit from five more years of contributions and five more years of earnings to finance what will be a shorter and therefore less costly retirement.

Rice, whose studies include adequacy of retirement savings and workforce participation, is emphatic that older workers need to “remove the mindset about a need to retire” on becoming eligible for the age pension.

He agrees with Monroe that a practical step older employees can make to extend their working lives is to critically examine their skills and to perhaps re-evaluate their worth to an employer.

“You might be earning A$200,000 a year,” Rice says, “and you may realise that you are slowing down.”

Rice suggests that older employers consider the option of approaching their bosses with a proposal to work for, say, another five years or so in return for a lower salary that reflects their perhaps reduced productivity.

“Then the employer probably gets better value for money, and you don’t have that terrible conversation where the boss says: ‘you are not as good as you used to be’.”

And here’s a final couple of tips from industrial businessman-turned-vigneron Herb Gardner for older individuals who want to make a working tree-change by setting up their own enterprises in the bush.

“Make sure you go to a district where there are professionals and qualified labour to call upon for the various parts of your business,” he says. “And look for somewhere with people who appear to reflect your desired lifestyle.”

The Asian way of retiring

Ambitions of retiring to a beach house and watching the waves break are not “culturally prevalent” among the older professional and business-owning clients of Singapore-based remuneration adviser Jon Robinson of Freshwater Advisers.

He says his professional clients tend to leave their partnerships in their mid-fifties or early sixties and take on a portfolio of assignments including company directorships. His business-owning clients remain with their enterprises into very old age.

The An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future report by Australia’s Productivity Commission points out that by 2060, one in eight Japanese will be aged 85 or over – compared with Australia’s projected one in 17.

In China today, only 8 per cent of Chinese are over age 65. By 2060, more than 28 per cent of its population will be over 65. And almost a third of Singapore’s population is expected to be over 65 by 2040.

Robinson says most Singaporeans who held senior positions would have adequately saved for their retirement. “[But] they are culturally driven to want to keep on working. They want to remain engaged and economically productive.”

Robinson has advised the Hong Kong and Singapore governments on their retirement policies.He says Singapore’s Central Provident Fund provides an “absolutely subsistence” income in retirement.

The position is similar with Hong Kong’s scheme, which is newer. “If you want more than that, you should have saved your own money or will have to keep on working,” he says.

Personally, Robinson, who has just turned 55, intends to keep working for as long as he can. “I find work stimulating and intellectually satisfying; it is how I prefer to spend my day. Money is not the primary motive.”

Andrew Heng, executive director of Baker Tilly Malaysia, says his professional clients tend to remain working for as long as possible.

Many give priority to providing their children with an overseas education in Australia or the UK over their retirement savings.

His higher net-worth clients with their own businesses typically keep working into their old age, perhaps “unsure of what to do if they didn’t work”.

Financial abuse of elders

With people living longer, the financial abuse of elders is becoming a worrying issue for accountants.

In Australia, adult children, particularly adult sons, are the most common perpetrators.

Financial abuse isn’t necessarily outright theft; it’s when someone illegally or improperly uses a person’s money, assets or property. It can include:

  • Misappropriation of property, money or valuables
  • Forced changes to a will or other legal document
  • Denial of the right to access personal funds
  • Forging of signatures – on bank accounts or legal documents
  • Misusing enduring power of attorney
  • Going shopping for groceries and not returning the change

CPA Australia’s Victorian Third Age Network Committee is part of a taskforce that, in conjunction with CPA Australia, will develop tools for accountants to more easily identify financial abuse of elders, assist their clients to find help, and prevent it occurring in the first place.

Identifying financial abuse is important, both for the victims and for public practitioners avoiding the risk of a negligence action. Accountants should be sensitive to any changes in a client’s behaviour or financial situation.

“Signs to look for include a client wanting to transfer assets unexpectedly, or if they are always accompanied by a family member to appointments, which may prevent honest conversations,” advises Sue Hendy, CEO of Australia’s Council on the Ageing.

Accountants should also consider that family relationships change. “Relationships and households can break down,” says Sue Marshall, general manager of Victoria Plus at Victoria University.

“If it was a business relationship, people in professions like accounting would ensure that certain safeguards were put in place.”

The elder financial abuse website and toolkit is scheduled for release in mid-2015 (look for it on

Until then, go to and do a search for “elder abuse concerns” for a contact list of relevant bodies.

Further reading

Access the following CPA Library items online at

The New Retirementality: Planning your life and living your dreams … at any age you want (eBook)

For Old Times’ Sake” by Rick Morton, The Australian, Apr 15, 2014

Older and Wiser” by Peter Garber, T+D, 2013

This article is from the November 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.


Older workers — those who are at or approaching the traditional retirement age of 65 ­— are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce and one of the fastest-growing groups in the overall population. In the U.S. the number of individuals aged 65 or older will increase by about 66% between now and 2035. The growth is driven in part by the Baby Boomer generation, but even more so by an increased life expectancy that’s creating more healthy years for more people.

As we learned in our research for our book, Managing the Older Worker, people who are 65 today have about the same risk of mortality or serious illness as those who were in their mid-50’s a generation ago. The percentage of the population over age 65 who are at serious risk of mortality or life-threatening illness will grow by only about 16% between now and 2035, which means that there will be a huge cohort of healthy individuals in that age group who want and need to work. These changing demographics will transform the U.S. labor market and society as a whole. Any employer who wants to engage a skilled, motivated, and disciplined workforce cannot afford to ignore them.

And yet, these workers are being ignored to some extent. About three quarters of individuals approaching retirement have for some time said that they would like to keep working in some capacity, yet only about a quarter of them actually do. Something is keeping them from working, and that something is on the employer side.

Engaging the older workforce should not be such a big challenge. Older workers tend to be in the workforce because they want to be — relatively few look for jobs because they need them to survive. (During the Great Recession we heard a lot about people not being able to retire because of finances, but we’re hearing that less now.) Older workers want to keep working first and foremost because it keeps them engaged with other people, and also to feel as though they’re contributing. Money is further down the list. Older workers also know what they are getting into and what is required when they accept a job — much more so than younger workers.

So, why aren’t we seeing more older employees in the workforce? The problem seems to be getting them in the door in the first place. Discrimination is certainly one reason. Evidence suggests that we are more biased in our views of older individuals than we are of minorities and women. It’s easy to see that bias if we compare the images that come to mind when we contrast the words “older,” which brings up negative stereotypes, and “experienced,” which brings up positive ones.

The other challenge is fear. Younger supervisors are often afraid of managing older employees because these older workers have more experience than they do. The less experienced managers may wonder, “How can I say, ‘Do this because I know best’ when often I don’t know best?” Older workers may also have some initial trouble being managed by younger supervisors, especially those with less practical experience than they have. But it’s up to supervisors to shape the relationship beginning with the first interaction by saying how they want to use the older worker’s experience, while pointing out what their own responsibilities are for setting goals and holding people accountable.

It’s not just a confidence issue. Younger supervisors may find that what works with most of their staff doesn’t work for older employees. They aren’t as fearful of being fired (they’re already at retirement age) and they have less interest in promotions or a big payout in the future.

So how do you keep an older worker engaged? Start by acknowledging and using their experience. Certainly this is true for any age group: Everyone wants their expertise to be recognized, especially by the boss. But with older workers, it’s even more important, because they typically have a lot of experience — so ignoring it is especially irritating. And older workers themselves can be prickly about being managed by someone who knows less than they do.

The military has developed some good tactics for recognizing and appreciating older workers’ expertise based on the efforts of generations of junior officers fresh out of college and struggling to manage older, more experienced sergeants. Military leaders now advise those officers to treat their experienced subordinates as partners, at least behind the scenes.  The supervisor is still in charge, but he’s missing an opportunity (and is more likely to make a mistake) if he doesn’t check in with his more experienced subordinates — at least to hear their thoughts — before making important decisions. The supervisor still sets the goals and holds people accountable for meeting them. But the subordinates have a big say in the execution, and when they walk out of their private meetings with their managers, they need to be on the same page.

In the workplace, it’s useful to check in with individual older workers to ask them what problems they could foresee in executing a specific task (“Here’s what we need done”). If you don’t take any advice they offer, it’s helpful to explain why not (“I know it’s an aggressive deadline, but it’s important to finish this before the new manager takes over”).

In terms of their interests, older workers tend to be more like young workers than like their middle-aged peers. Their big financial needs are typically behind them, work is often a source of social interaction for them, and they care more about the good works that their employer might be doing than the cohorts in middle age. Supervisors should consider giving older works jobs with more customer interaction (frontline jobs) or those dealing with internal customers.

Research also suggests that putting older and young workers together helps both groups perform better. They make good allies in part because of their similar interests, but because of their different stages of life, they are less competitive with each other than workers in the same age cohort might be. That means that they are more likely to help each other and to form good teams.

The bottom line is that companies looking to increase engagement, performance, and loyalty need to do a much better job of engaging this growing — and valuable — segment of the workforce. For employers who say they want a workforce that can “hit the ground running,” that doesn’t need training or ramp-up time to figure out what to do, that will be conscientious, and that knows how to get along with others, older workers are the perfect match.


Searching for work when you are 50 years+ can be daunting, frustrating and deflating. I talk to people on a weekly basis about this issue and their comments are always the same:

  • “I’ve got all the qualifications, why can’t I get an interview?”
  • “Why doesn’t anyone see my experience as a positive?”
  • “Employers are only seeking young people!” 

It is a tough market, but its tough for jobseekers at every level. Reality TV shows have mastered the art of shocking people into action by measuring their actual age against their physical age or mental age etc. It’s a wake up call for many. Imagine being told as a 35 year old women that you have the physical age of 48 years! Yikes!

Job seekers in the 50-something category could benefit from a ‘job seeker age test’. How old are you based on the content of your resume and comments made to employers? Many of you would be quite surprised by the results.

In my experience there are a number of mistakes mature job seekers make without realising it, that are far more damaging than their perceived idea of racism based on age. As a mature job seeker you have to ‘modernise’ your approach to compete in today’s market, not only in your resume, but your attitude as well.

Many mature jobseekers start their search with a pre-determined idea that no one will employ them because they are over 50 years. Self defeating thoughts will not help your cause. Sure, there are organisations that prefer younger employees, and sadly some that do discriminate, however, there are a number of companies who value the wealth of experience mature candidates offer.

I know a medium sized organisation here in Western Australia who actively seeks mature age candidates. In the Managing Directors own words “we prefer 2 part time mature employees to 1 full-time person. We’ve found their work ethic, output and longevity is much better than their younger counterparts”.

When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day. 

 ~Marty Bucella

As a mature job seeker you need to ask yourself how you present to an employer. Do you come across as confident, happy and motivated? Or have you become cynical, a product of your self-defeating thoughts?

  • Do you call people ‘pet’, ‘lovey’ or ‘dear’?
  • Have you made statements like “back in my day” or “way back when”?
  • Is your resume as thick as a novel because you’ve included every position ever held?
  • Are you including your date of birth, social security pension card number, dates of high school education and qualifications?
  • Do you hand deliver applications despite the employer’s request for emails because you hate using the computer?
  • Are you still submitting resumes that read like job descriptions because “they always worked for me in the past”?
  • Do you rely on print media to source vacancies because you aren’t a computer person?
  • At interviews have you asked how old other staff are to determine if you will have to work with “whipper snappers”?
  • Do you give the impression at interview of wanting to take over? Eg. “I can teach him a thing or two with all my experience”
  • Are you positively selling your experience … “I have a great deal of experience and skills which I can share with the team” as opposed to “I could teach these young pups a thing or two!”
  • Do you make excuses for your age … one of the worst I ever heard as a recruiter was “I know you probably want someone younger” … this was during the interview  – she already had one foot in the door!

Your attitude counts for a lot and will affect people’s impression of you. Be aware of your thoughts and focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative. I bet your job seeker age goes down in the process.


Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant



Date: November 1, 2014 
Ross Gittins

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor

<i>Illustration: Glen Le Lievre</i>

Illustration: Glen Le Lievre

Politicians and economists have been banging on about the ageing of the population for ages, but how much do we actually know about the likely economic consequences? Not much – until now.

We’ve been told incessantly that ageing spells bad news for the budget – greatly increased spending on pensions and healthcare – with ageing used to help justify the harsh spending cuts proposed in this year’s budget.

In truth, it has suited the powers-that-be to exaggerate ageing’s effect on the budget. And oldies are right to resent the way ageing has been presented as nothing but a terrible problem. If the fact that we’re living longer, healthier lives is a “problem”, it’s the best kind of problem to have.

So let’s ignore the budget and focus on ageing’s other economic consequences, some of which are good. We’ll do so with help from a speech given last week by Dr Christopher Kent, an assistant governor of the Reserve Bank.

Kent says population ageing is driven by three factors: the boom in babies in the early years after World War II (1945 to 1960), the subsequent sharp drop in fertility rates that created a baby-boomer bulge, plus rising longevity thanks to decades of prosperity and advances in medical science.

The authorities have been warning about the coming consequences of ageing for so long – and how bad it will be by 2040 – that I suspect many people have given up waiting for it to start.

Well, get this: although it’s got a long way to go, it’s already started. The baby boomers have been retiring since the turn of the century, thus reducing the share of the population that’s of usual working age (15 to 64).

Kent says that, taken by itself, ageing is estimated to have subtracted from the labour force participation rate by between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points a year over the past decade and a half. This effect has increased a little in recent years as baby boomers have begun reaching 65.

Point is, ageing’s biggest and most obvious effect is not on the budget, it’s on the labour market. Everyone alive contributes to the demand for labour, but only those of us willing and able to work contribute to its supply.

So ageing constitutes a reduction in the supply of labour relative to the demand. That suggests we can expect it to cause unemployment to be lower than otherwise (which is not to say it won’t continue to go up and down with the business cycle).

Since Australians have worried that there aren’t enough jobs to go around ever since the middle of Gough Whitlam’s reign, that sounds like good news to me. We’re in the process of switching from not enough jobs to not enough workers.

(What I wonder is how long it will take for our mentality to shift. The perception that there’s never enough jobs is now so deeply ingrained that any shyster with a profit-making scheme he claims will “create jobs” is greeted as a hero and demands that he be showered with subsidies.)

And with demand for labour stronger than supply, this implies upward pressure on wages. Again, sounds like good news to me. Kent adds that the converse of higher wage rates is lower returns to capital.

Kent points out that the pressure on labour supply will be felt most by industries that rely more heavily on labour, mainly service industries. Prominent among those industries will be aged care and healthcare, of course.

But, Kent adds, there’s likely to be scope for labour to be reallocated among service industries, with a lower proportion of young people meaning we’ll require fewer workers to care for and educate children.

There’ll also be relatively less demand for workers to produce goods. That’s for several reasons. First, because older people tend to devote less of their spending to goods and more services. Second, because all of us tend to spend an increasing share of our rising incomes on services. There are limits to our consumption of food, wearing of clothes and how many TVs, fridges and cars we can cram into our house.

Third, because of its greater reliance on machines, the production of goods is more amenable to continuous improvement in labour productivity than is the production of services. As one economist famously observed, you can’t improve the productivity of a quartet by reducing the number of players.

All this implies the prices of services are likely to rise relative to those of goods.

But now, gentle reader, if I’ve trained you well enough you’ll have noticed a weakness in my argument so far. I’ve described only the immediate effects of ageing – what economists call the “first-round effects”.

That’s where most people’s analysis stops, but economic analysis keeps going. One of the most important questions economists ask is: “And then what happens?” It’s the second-round and subsequent effects economics is supposed to illuminate.

Seen from an economist’s mindset, what I’ve described is a change in relative prices: the price of (or return on) labour relative to the price of (or return on) capital. The prices of services relative to the prices of goods.

Kent says it’s important that these relative price changes not be prevented from occurring. Why? So market forces can go to work on them, adapting to them, modifying them and, to some extent, reversing them.

The higher relative price of labour should encourage more middle-aged people to take jobs and more oldies to delay their full retirement, thus reducing the upward pressure on wages a bit. The higher relative prices of services should encourage more people to acquire the education and training needed to work in the services sector.

And greater longevity should encourage workers to save more for their longer time in retirement.

That’s what happens in market economies: things adjust.

Ross Gittins is the economics editor.

Source:  SMH


Declining infrastructure is behind staggering pockets of unemployment.


Unemployment figures in some areas are at 50 per cent. Photo: AAP



Unemployment rates in some Australian suburbs are as high as 32 per cent, five times the national figure, creating pockets of disadvantage and leaving local councils scrambling to create jobs.

Both inner-city suburbs and remote towns feature in the top-10 areas grappling with high unemployment rates, with mayors saying they are struggling to provide jobs amid a decline in manufacturing.

Unemployment figures have skyrocketed in some suburbs in the past year, with Melbourne’s Broadmeadows and Brisbane’s Wacol both experiencing an almost 40 per cent jump in unemployment in 12 months.

• Find out the jobless rate in your area. Read the full report here

Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s north-west has an unemployment figure of 26 per cent, and has been rocked by the steady closure of local manufacturing since the global financial crisis in 2008, including more factory closures in the past year.

The current national unemployment figure is 6.1 per cent.


A source at the local Hume City Council said long-term disadvantage and the closure of the local Ford plant were to blame for unemployment in the area.

“The impact of the pending closure at the Ford plant in Broadmeadows, and the flow-on it has had on other supporting manufacturing industries has also played a part,” they said.

Unemployment rate map

Tasmania’s Brighton Council Mayor Tony Foster says high unemployment has been a problem in the Ravenswood area for generations.

His local government area currently endures a jobless rate of 23 per cent.

“The main thing that is going to turn this around is education but we can’t get kids to go to school any further than Year 7. There’s no thought of them even going to Year 11 or 12,” Cr Foster says.

“It’s a difficult area because there are few places like it in Tasmania. Other parts of the community are really vibrant and have high employment,” he laments.

The highest unemployment figure in Australia belongs to the indigenous community of Palm Island off the coast of Cairns, with unemployment at 49.8 per cent.

Ford factory closure Broadmeadows

Other remote towns such as Halls Creek in the Kimberley and APY Lands in South Australia both face unemployment rates of 42 per cent and 38 per cent, but languishing city suburbs aren’t far behind.

The new data shows suburban areas are not immune from staggering unemployment, as suburbs in Launceston, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide also face some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

The suburb of Elizabeth in Adelaide has the highest inner-city jobless rate in Australia with 32.4 per cent of locals unemployed.

City of Playford mayor Glenn Docherty warns this will only be made worse by the closure of the local Holden plant.

“We’re trying to get unemployment down across the city but from our point of view we have challenges with Holden closing in 2017,” says Cr Docherty, who is hoping horticulture can lift the area out of unemployment.

“We’re working with local food growers and training providers to secure work in a variety of entry level jobs in the expanding horticultural industry.”

Top five worst suburbs for employment state-by-state


Palm Island – 49.8 per cent

Aurukun – 32.1 per cent

Wacol – 26.3 per cent

Riverview – 23 per cent

Inala – 22.8 per cent


Lethbridge Park, Tregear – 23.2 per cent

Bidwill, Hebersham, Emerton – 22.8 per cent

Ashcroft, Busby, Miller – 21.7 per cent

Walgett – 15.4 per cent

Brewarrina – 14.6 per cent


Broadmeadows – 26.4 per cent

Campbellfield, Coolaroo – 22.9 per cent

Meadow Heights – 22.9 per cent

Dandenong – 20.8 per cent

Doveton – 19.5 per cent


Bridgewater – Gagebrook – 26.4 per cent

Ravenswood – 23.7 per cent

Rokeby – 16 per cent

Risdon Vale – 15.3 per cent

Invermay – 15.0 per cent


APY Lands – 38.8 per cent

Elizabeth – 32.4 per cent

Smithfield – Elizabeth North – 23.6 per cent

Davoren Park – 19.6 per cent

Christie Downs – 19.4 per cent


Halls Creek – 42.7 per cent

Roebuck – 31.1 per cent

Derby – West Kimberley – 20.7 per cent

Mandurah – 15.8 per cent

Balga – Mirrabooka – 15.3 per cent


Yuendumu Anmatjere – 23.7 per cent

Sandover – Plenty – 22.5 per cent

Thamarrurr – 21.6 per cent

Anindilyakwa – 16.1 per cent

Tanami – 15.7 per cent


ACT East – 15 per cent

Reid – 12.1 per cent

Florey – 6.9 per cent

Holt – 6.7 per cent

Belconnen – 6.2 per cent

A new generation of retirees is heading back to work. Here’s some advice on how to snag one of those encore jobs

Encore! Encore! One more time.

That’s what many retired Canadians want to do: Go back to work, try something new, perhaps with fewer hours and less pay, but find a way to keep active, stay engaged and get paid for it.

Longevity is rising, we’re healthier and so the traditional notion of retirement has faded. Some want to work because they have to and others because they want to.

But if our needs are changing, our employers aren’t keeping up with the times, says Adina Lebo, chair of the downtown Toronto chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP). Attitudes in the workplace are geared to forcing older workers out of full-time work and few employers have mechanisms to offer a transition to part-time work.

“The workforce is built to push people out at 65,” says Lebo, who joined CARP four years ago after a 30-year career in the film and TV industry. “While people are looking for a continuation of their career, or a way to apply their skills in a new area, the doors are often closed.”

CARP sponsored a job fair in Toronto last year to link employers with 50+ candidates. There was plenty of interest from companies with franchising and sales opportunities. The former requires an investment on your part and the latter uses your networks to sell products or services.

“There’s no ageism in sales,” says Lebo. “It’s on commission, so there’s no risk to the employer. They use you and your community to sell, so that was wide open.”

There are jobs out there for older works, but competition is stiff. For many, the first step is dusting off their resumes and polishing rusty interview skills.

Marie Bountrogianni, a former Ontario cabinet minister and currently Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, has some advice. Here are her five top job hunting tips for older workers.

Three things to avoid in an interview:

Talking about your age: “This is always tricky,” says Bountrogianni, who has a Ph.D. in education and was chief psychologist for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board before entering politics.

“Employers are not allowed to ask about your age, but they often hint at it. Talk around your age in constructive ways. [For example,] you can indicate that because you no longer have little children you have a lot of flexibility around scheduling.

Tipping your tech hand: “Be careful. Don’t just say you use Facebook and Twitter. Show how you have used social media to increase sales, or promote an event, so they won’t think you are on it all the time.”

Don’t say, I’m ready for a change: “While it may be very true, it sounds like you are bored, and have grown stale in your current job,” Bountrogiann says.

Two ways to spruce up your resume:

Age proof it: Don’t go back to the beginning of your career. Choose the experiences that relate to the job you are applying for. Do not put in specific dates for jobs or schooling.

Show what you have done: Use a functional, rather than chronological resume, so that you can bundle your experiences without dating them and relate skills to the job advertised.

Bountrogianni says employers want to know you’re not planning to coast at their expense.

They also want to know you are still current, so she advises taking courses in your field of interest and keeping up to date. Always have questions in an interview, because employers want you to be interested in them and about their job.

Source:  Toronto Star

By ONE News Reporter Renee Graham

Wednesday October 22, 2014 Source: ONE News

There’s concern for ageing female workers with new research showing there’s a large number working low-paid and physically demanding shift work.

Researchers say women will be particularly vulnerable as they age if they can no longer cope with long hours at work and their incomes suffer as a result.

The paper entitled Employment of Older Women in New Zealand was commissioned by the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, which consults with the Ministry for Women’s Affairs.

The author, Dr Paul Callister, says baby boomers aren’t following old patterns, and many will continue to work into their 70s or 80s.

“For instance, in 20 years’ time, those 65-years and older could occupy 12% of the workforce, up from 5% in 2011. And nearly 30% of women this age may be in paid work, significantly increasing tax contributions and spending capacity”.

Traci Houpapa, chief executive of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, says women are over-represented in jobs where physical labour, low pay and shift work can make on- going employment difficult as these workers age.

“These sectors include aged care and the health sector, where career mobility is essential when existing employment is unsustainable due to high physical demand or when long hours of work are required.”

The research says more and more women over the age of 65 are working too. In 1995 2% of women 65 or older were working, compared to 2014 where 14% are now employed.

It also predicts by 2061 30% of the female population will be older than 65.

Tracy Houpapa says ageism is a major barrier to older women wanting to work.

“Age discrimination can also have an impact, reducing the ability of older workers to change careers later in life if issues start to occur, therefore more flexible, sustainable employment is required to enable older workers to stay in the labour force.

“Ageing female workers with low qualifications are therefore seen as a vulnerable sector in the labour force and Dr Callister’s presentation is an initial step to progress NACEW’s work in this area,” she says.

The Council plans to do further research before it comes up with recommendations for the Government on how it can better improve conditions for an ageing female workforce.