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Got a Lot o' Livin' to do: Opportunities for Older Workers in the Global Financial Crisis

National Institute of Labour Studies
Publication Date
  • Economics


The 2009 downturn in the Australian economy brought on by the global financial crisis (GFC) caused many businesses to review staff levels in an effort to reduce costs. But unlike previous recessions, large scale restructuring and retrenchments were less common in favour of retaining skilled staff on reduced working conditions, such as fewer hours. Many employers suffered from skills shortages only a year before. At the same time research began to show that many baby boomers wanted to continue working beyond the early retirement age preferred by previous cohorts, and could fill the skilled worker gap. But older employees, having other demands on their time, want more job flexibility and less responsibility or work pressure. Since the GFC more older workers need to stay at work to improve their retirement funds. The changed working conditions brought on by the GFC will, coincidentally, attract older workers probably more than other cohorts, giving both older workers and employers greater flexibility, while retaining valuable workplace experience.

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