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Seniors and Employment: Working It

Your grandparents did it. So did Lee Iacocca and Johnny Carson. Hell, even the Pope retired from his job. But whether the rest of us will ourselves one day draw a curtain on our working lives remains in some question.

According to a 2012 TD Economics Observation report overseen by Statistics Canada, since the economy started picking up its broken bits in mid-2009, that segment of the population aged 60 and older have snapped up a full third of all net new job gains. More than that, workers over age 70 gained 37 percent more employment during the same period.

When you consider that these stooped figures represent just eight percent of the workforce, this emerges as a significant piece of news.

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These folks are taking jobs in a range of sectors, with particular emphasis on the retail market. Would-be retirees have also created employment gains in the professional, health-care, scientific and technical services sectors.

Lots of these workers are also striking out on their own. A study published by CIBC last fall discovered that the fastest growing slice of the entrepreneurial pie — by a long shot — is being devoured by older workers setting up their own businesses.

That such a portion of recent labour market gains is attributable to the return of the more mature employee — or, just as common, his stubborn refusal to leave the race in the first place — is credited to lots of reasons. Certainly, these individuals have made practical choices to keep income flowing or bulk up their pensions. In other instances, they’ve stayed in the workforce simply out of preference.

Some resources for older job hunters:

• Seniors 4 Seniors (www.seniors4seniors.com) is a unique community service-oriented business concept that matches younger seniors with time on their hands with older seniors who need help.

• Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (www.canadastop100.com/older_workers) is a website celebrating those workplaces across the country that do the most for employees in the “second half of their careers.”

• Service Canada Employment for Seniors site (www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/audiences/seniors/employment.shtml) is a collection of data pertaining to the subject of older Canadians working.

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