Analyzes American Community Survey data to determine the 10 occupations with the highest percentage of workers ages 55 and older, then provides occupational data about these positions, such as education levels, salaries, and schedule information, for both older workers specifically and the occupation as a whole.

“This publication presents the third in a five-part series of papers [called] Tapping Mature Talent: Policies for a 21st Century Workforce” (p.2). The goal of the series is to examine the needs and skills of older workers given that demographic information shows “the U.S. will be seeing more mature workers actively engaged in the labor market, whether out of financial need or out of continued ability and preference” (p.2). In this resource, published in 2012, the authors “offer a process for examining the various skills and knowledge needed for specific occupations of interest to mature workers. This approach could inform postsecondary institutions, employment advisors, and other professionals guiding the future labor market choices of the mature workforce” (p.3).

 

“This [paper] explores how existing occupational data can be used to provide information to mature workers about their possible occupational pathways, as one tool to be used in their decision-making and planning process. [The authors] show how this can be done by using, as examples, 10 occupations with the largest share of mature workers [nationwide in 2010]. [The authors] then develop profiles of these occupations using…information from both the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. A similar analysis can be carried out to

create profiles for other occupations, in order to help mature workers make better decisions about their own future human capital investment decisions around career choice, job search, and education and training investment activities” (p.5).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Occupational Profiles for the Mature Worker: Finding and Using Detailed Information about Occupations with the Largest Share of Mature Workers

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The top 10 occupations with the largest presence of mature workers are labeled in this paper as ‘mature worker intensive occupations.’ [The authors] identified those occupations with the highest concentration of workers aged 55 and above through an analysis of the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) public use data files” (p.7). Through this analysis, the resource finds that the following 10 occupations are mature worker intensive: • “Tax preparers • Clergy • Bus drivers • Psychologists • Librarians • Real estate brokers and sales agents • Chief executives • Dentists • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs • Interviewers, except eligibility and loan” (p.10). The resource goes on to provide additional information about these 10 occupations with regards to mature workers, including analyzing salaries, education levels, disability, and hours worked per year. For example, the resource finds that: • “Workers employed in most of the mature worker intensive occupations possessed above average educational levels….Mature workers with fewer years of schooling participate in the labor market at lower rates than better educated counterparts. Moreover, the cognitive demands of many of the mature worker occupations are high, while the physical demands of these jobs are low—suggesting better employment options for mature workers with better educational credentials” (p.10). • “However, not all mature worker intensive occupations are staffed with a highly educated workforce. Three of the 10 mature worker intensive occupations were staffed by workers with much lower levels of education. Workers employed as bus drivers, taxi drivers, and chauffeurs had much lower levels of educational attainment than the average for all occupations in the nation…” (p.11). • “The weekly work schedule on average of workers in 6 out of the 10 mature worker intensive occupations exceeded a full-time schedule (35 hours or more). Workers in the remaining four occupations also worked quite intensively, albeit less than the full-time threshold of 35 hours per week or more” (p.13). The resource concludes by recommending that the data be updated frequently, and that similar analyses be conducted “and made available to job seekers and those involved in the job development process” to assist mature workers in crafting a career plan that works for them (p.23). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)