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Every nation faces an aging workforce as the proportion of their population over age 60 inevitably climbs, said Ted C. Fishman, author of
Shock of Gray (Scribner, 2010), during a June 27, 2012, Masters Series session at the Society for Human Resource Management 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition.
Fishman subtitled his book
The Aging of the World's Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation.
It highlights “How big global trends begin locally. Workforce issues are one of the most powerful lenses you can see the world with,” he said.
“How does life change for us because the world is getting older?” he asked.
“This is an unprecedented moment in the history of mankind. When people talk about age, they tend to focus on the difficulty of the change—with pensions in crisis, budgets in crisis, health care in crisis,” he said. “This is a prime example of focusing on the wrong things. An older world is very much a better world,” he pointed out. Humankind has “always wanted to live longer. Now we are in the first minute when we are living longer. There is no treasure that compares to a longer life.
“We see this momentous change in everything you look at: In how you see yourself, your family, the neighborhood where you live, the firms where you work, and how you interact with the changes in your state and country. It is an all-pervasive change that affects every walk of life,” Fishman explained.
How do such changes affect the economy?
Fishman lauded HR professionals who use best practices to encourage employees to stay on the job longer and in providing accommodations for individuals who need them to stay employed.
Nancy M. Davis is editor of
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