With the population aging, jobs will have to support older workers in order to contribute to economic growth. Research reveals that across all jobs, the age-friendliness grew by 8 percent between 1990 and 2020.
The numbers are pulled from an Age-Friendliness Index (AFI) developed by researchers and outlined in the article The Rise of Age-Friendly Jobs (NBER Working Paper 30463). The index was developed using a number of factors including the preferences of older workers for categories including schedule flexibility, telecommuting, physical job demands, pace of work, autonomy at work, paid time off, working in teams, job training, and meaningful work, and establishing weights to these attributes for close to 900 occupations.
In 2020, the top 10 most age-friendly occupations:
- ticket agents
- human resources managers
- insurance salespeople
- insurance adjusters
- business promotion agents
- vocational and educational counselors
The least age-friendly occupations include some occupations in the trades:
- concrete and cement workers
- tool and die makers
- library technicians
- furniture and wood finishers
- mixing and blending machine operators
- construction laborers
On a positive note, employment in above average age-friendly occupations rose by 49 million workers. However, upon further analysis, older workers were not the group who benefited most from the increase in age-friendly jobs. For more details on how the AFI was created and who benefited most from the rise in age-friendly jobs, check out the full National Bureau of Economic Research article here.