Saturday, April 4, 2015

Over 70% of retirees go back to work in Canada

There are more older workers than ever before. They are staying in the workforce longer — some because they need to, but also because they want to. Today, 3.6 million workers are age 55 and over, representing 20 per cent of Canada’s workforce, an increase of 1.2 million since 2006, according to Statistics Canada.
More than 650,000 people are 65 and over with paying jobs — more than twice the number as in 2006.
Retirees who spend most of their lives in physical jobs tend to want to leave the workforce entirely, while those who do more knowledge-based work often like the content of their work but may not have liked the organization, many will stay in similar fields or seek out other types of work in which they can draw on their experience.
The big picture is that this is a good thing, because as the population ages we are going to be looking for workers.
Statistics Canada followed a group of workers who were between 50 to 64 when they left their jobs. Ten years later, most had gone back to work. Just 32 per cent of men and 36 per cent of women did not.
Among those who left their careers in their early 60s, the agency found that 47 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women were re-employed during the next 10 years, and most did so within a year or two.
StatsCan also discovered that men and women who were separated or divorced were more likely than their never-married counterparts to be re-employed after leaving their long-term jobs. However, married men were more likely to be re-employed than never-married men, but married women were less likely to be re-employed.
Compared with Ontario residents, older workers living in Atlantic Canada were less likely to be re-employed after leaving their career, while those living in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Territories were more likely to be re-employed.
Retirement is evolving. So many of us want to be doing something, even part-time or on contract. It’s having the best of both worlds if your health is good.
Life expectancy plays a big part in the encore job trend, so “it’s not surprising that this is happening,” says Gordon Betcherman, a University of Ottawa professor of social sciences with a focus on the labour market.
In 1970, the average life expectancy at birth in Canada was 69 years for men and 76 for women. By 2011, it had increased to 79.3 years for men and 83.6 for women.
“You’re likely going to be living longer so if you’re not physically spent and you can find work that is not physically demanding, why not try to keep on doing it,” Betcherman says.
“People are making the decision that they don’t want to sit around for 30 years” after traditional retirement at 65, he says. “And fewer people are able to count on pensions.”

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