Population Change and Lifecourse

Aging and Paid Work

Committee Leader - Ellie Berger, Nipissing University

Research Domain

Over the next few decades, population and labour force aging in industrialized nations will occur at unprecedented rates, reducing the indigenous supply of younger workers entering the labour force.

Notwithstanding the current economic crisis, potential labour shortages, along with concerns about financial support of retirees, and the need for companies in fast-paced industries to respond rapidly to market demands, have prompted commentators to argue that a critical issue facing industrialized countries is the retention and retraining of older workers.

ndeed, the Federal Government of Canada recently commissioned a report entitled, “Supporting and Engaging Older Workers in the New Economy”. Many of the report’s recommendations point to the need for employers and governments to develop workplace policies that consider the changing needs and capacities of workers across the life course so that they can remain productive over a longer term.

Committee Reports

Committee Activities

Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee Symposium on Barrier to Employment in Later Life
Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) 2014 Conference
Niagara Falls, October 17, 2014

Organizer and Chair: Ellie Berger, Leader, Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Nipissing University

Discussant: John Rietschlin, Manager, Older Adults Team, Social Research Division, ESDC

Population and labour force aging in industrialized nations will increase considerably in the next few decades. Employers and policy makers have started to re-evaluate the hiring, retention, and training policies that affect workers over the life course. Various barriers to employment will be addressed in this symposium including the challenges associated with job loss and transition, ageism, and aging with a disability. The Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee was formed to mobilize knowledge between academics and policy makers working in this area. The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum to further this agenda and encourage the development of new research projects and networks in the future. We encourage researchers and policy makers interested in connecting with this network to attend.

View Abstracts

Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee Symposium on Work-Retirement Transitions
Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) 2014 Conference
Niagara Falls, October 17, 2014

Organizer and Chair: Ellie Berger, Leader, Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Nipissing University

Discussant: Peter Hicks, Social Policy Consultant, Peter Hicks Consulting

Possible labour shortages connected to labour force aging and concerns about the financial support of retirees are factors that are becoming increasingly important. This symposium will explore the changing notion of retirement at both the individual and structural levels. The Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee was formed to mobilize knowledge between academics and policy makers working in this area. The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum to further this agenda and encourage the development of new research projects and networks in the future. We encourage researchers and policy makers interested in connecting with this network to attend.

View Abstracts

Aging and Paid Work Thematic Committee Symposium and Workshop
Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) 2013 Conference
Halifax, October 18, 2013

Policy Brief No. 7, March 2012
Age Discrimination and Paid Work

With the aging of the Canadian population, many changes will be required in the domain of work and retirement. While considerable transformations have been made in recent years that improve the situation for older workers, such as the creation of legislation to eliminate the use of mandatory retirement in most areas, ageism and age discrimination still persist. Employers continue to have negative attitudes toward older workers and these attitudes can be seen in the training, hiring, and retention of older employees. Age discrimination is difficult to prove and thus most cases are not pursued. Older women face even greater challenges in the workforce, and both men and women experience the most difficulty when searching for new employment. Policy changes are suggested here that seek to improve the situation for older workers.

2010 Socio-Economic Conference

2010 Socio-Economic Conference

Policy Brief No. 1, November 2009
Cognitive Function, Aging, and Paid Work

In the context of an aging population and aging workforce, we consider the relationship between cognitive function and paid work. Cognitive function is maintained for most adults as they age, and there is evidence of a positive relationship between stimu­lating and engaging work environments and both levels of cognitive function and their maintenance over time. At the same time, irregular and long work hours are associ­ated with poorer cognitive outcomes. However, the relationship between paid work and cognitive function is complex; education and training as well as health status are also related to cognitive function and work. We discuss implications for policy makers and areas where further research is required.

Population, Work, Family Policy Research Collaboration

  • 4th Population, Work, Family Policy Research Collaboration
    • Job stress and burnout in the IT industry: Lessons from small-to-medium size firms in four study countries
      Kim Shuey and Heather Spiegel, University of Western Ontario

  • 3rd Population, Work, Family Policy Research Collaboration
    Workforce Aging in the New Economy
    • Ageism in Information Technology Employment
      Julie Ann McMullin and Tammy Duerden Comeau, University of Western Ontario
    • Age structure and the life course in the IT field
      Victor W. Marshall, UNC Chapel Hill
    • Labour Market Trajectories among IT Workers
      Martin Cooke, University of Waterloo and Kerry Platman, University of Warwick Coventry, UK
    • Bargaining power and agency in new economy IT organisations
      Libby Brooke, Swinburne University,