According to AARP Magazine, by the year 2015, 20 per cent of the American workforce will be 55 or older as compared to 13 per cent in 2000. Former U.S. Secretary Robert Reich stated that this is the result of the baby boomer generation that did not save enough for retirement. The trend for older, experienced workers entering the workforce is on the rise in three major sectors: the health care industry; the retail industry, and the teaching profession.
According to AARP magazine, the health care field currently has a massive shortage of nurses and caregivers. In 2009, 30 states reported needing more nurses. By the year 2020, 40 states will experience a need for more health care professionals. ABC News reported on "Good Morning America" that half of all employed older workers are in the health care industry. Older workers are valued in the health care business because they are more experienced in dealing with people and managing crises. Jobs open to seniors with the appropriate background include doctors, nurses, administrative workers, pharmacists, elderly care agents and non-caregiving roles.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, retail sales and service is among the top 10 jobs for people of all ages due to rapid growth and a shortage of workers. Employers view older workers as a less risky and more stable workforce. However, retail jobs often pay less and offer little or no benefits.
Older people often have a lot of experience and training that makes them excellent teachers and mentors. According to AARP magazine, teachers' organisations like The National Education Association (NEA) and The Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) predict 150,000 to 250,000 openings in elementary and secondary schools in the year 2010 as enrolment nears two million. States such as California, Texas, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida top the list as states that need more teachers immediately. Subjects in demand are math, science, special education and English as a second language. The pay is modest, but the benefits are usually good, and teachers generally have two months off in the summer.
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