Professor Peter McDonald uses results from the 2006 and 2011 Censuses of Australia to examine changes in employment rates at older ages (55 years and over). Older age employment increased considerably during this period and the increases were widespread across a range of characteristics. He also examines changes in population composition and concludes that the composition of the population is shifting in the direction that leads to higher employment rates in the future. Continuation of employment varies by personal characteristics but also varies considerably by occupation and industry. When governments are encouraging employment at older ages, it is surprising that government itself is one of the worst performers in relation to continuation of employment. The results are presented in the context of the ageing of the Australian population, especially the retirement of the baby boom generation and its affects upon the economy.
Professor Peter McDonald is the Director of the Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute.