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  • Sept 28, 2023
  • AARP

Global Insights on Retention and Job Transitions Among Workers Age 45-Plus

The advent and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have generated unprecedented and rapid change to workforce dynamics around the world. Implications and expectations for employees and employers continue to evolve as the global workforce navigates and establishes new workplace norms amid the ongoing pandemic. Now more than ever, workers across generations, particularly older workers, value flexibility and seek jobs that provide suitably accommodating work policies. The headwinds against returning to pre-pandemic norms are strong; if employers are to retain satisfied employees, they must understand the evolving perceptions, expectations around work, as well as motivations and triggers for changing jobs.

In partnership with The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), AARP conducted a large-scale global employee survey in June and July 2022 among workers age 25 and older who were either working full- or part-time or looking for work. 

The survey included two modules:  

  • Module I – Employee Retention
  • Module II– Worker Transitions

Module I  explored the expectations, motivations, and outcomes of older workers as they navigate employment. Module II focused on the perceptions and experiences of older workers as they embark on job and career changes.  Understanding the experiences and needs of older workers is crucial to building and maintaining a healthy global workforce. 

A total sample of 12,158 workers[2] age 25 and older was collected from twelve countries[3] which are categorized into the five regions below:

  • East Asia/Pacific: Australia, Japan, South Korea
  • North America: Canada, the United States
  • Northern/Western Europe: Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom
  • South America: Brazil
  • Southern Europe: Italy, Spain

[1] Data are analyzed by age and region.  Respondents were divided into two age groups: 25 to 44 and 45-plus. While respondents ages 45-plus completed Modules I and II, those ages 25 to 44 completed only Module I. Workers age 25 to 44 are referred to as “younger workers,” while those age 45-plus are referred to as “older workers.”

[2] Working full-time, part-time, or not currently working but looking for work (Workers ages 25-44, n=5,607; Workers ages 45-plus, n=6,551)

[3] Sample sizes for each country: Australia n=1,005; Japan n=1,018; South Korea n=1,008; Canada n=1,011; United States n=1,008; Finland n=1,009; France n=1,014; Germany n=1,011; United Kingdom n=1,006; Brazil n=1,040; Italy n=1,022; Spain n= 1,006

Read the Detailed Findings

Suggested Citation:
Choi-Allum, Lona. Global Insights on Retaining Workers Ages 45-Plus. Washington, DC: AARP Research, December 2022.

The survey was produced as part of the Living, Learning, and Earning Longer collaborative initiative of AARP, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Economic Forum (WEF), which works to demonstrate how age diversity is a competitive advantage for employers.