By Yasmin Noone
Twilight career-makers have swapped job market positions with the Gen Y cohort, as employees aged 63 and up continue to be the fastest growing group in the workforce while the number of Gen Y job numbers is now in decline, according to employment forecasts released this week.
Workforce statistics from the MyCareer Employment Forecast show that the ‘twilighters’ jobs rate is growing steadily at 8.3 per cent, totaling around 543,000 workers, nationwide.
But the forecast also shows that the Gen Y group is now having difficulty finding employment, with full-time jobs dropping by 1.2 per cent for this cohort.
This trend is particularly evident in the unskilled jobs market – for example, Gen Y laborer positions are down almost seven per cent just this year.
Although the figures scream good news for older workers who want to remain in the workforce well into the retirement years, Gen Y workers will be the ones who will create the future income tax base upon which governments will reply to balance increased expenditure on aged care service provision and pensions.
CEO of National Seniors Australia, Michael O’Neill, said although an increase in employment figures for older workers is positive news, the statistics come “off a low-base”.
“Any growth in employment figures in the mature age space is positive if you put aside the reasons why they are doing it,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Undoubtedly, people are changing their minds about retirement because of the financial outlook and uncertainty,”
“They are seeking to return to the workforce, whether it be part or full-time.
“So older workers may be a bit more cautious [about retiring] because of the impact of the GFC on superannuation and changes in the financial outlook, both domestically and globally.”
Regardless of the reasons why older people are staying on in the labor force, the fact is that employment conditions are allowing and encouraging an extended workforce stint.
However, Michael O’Neill added, the nation’s future ‘twilighters’ – those now aged around 50 years old – have been ignored in the survey results.
This is despite the fact that they will be the group, expected to face the financial circumstances in the near future due to the GFC-deterioration of their super.
The bigger picture
More than 135,000 jobs are still expected to be added to the Australian market in the year to August 2013 despite the economy slowing down, according to the MyCareer predictions.
In comparison only 58,000 jobs were added in the previous year to August 2012, indicating that the long-term outlook may not be as bleak as many media reports suggest.
Engineering, IT, and health and community services jobs can expect to see healthy increases of 3.6 per cent; 3.5 per cent, and 3.2 per cent respectively in the year up to May 2013.
The forecasts also recorded continued shortages of nurses in regional and remote locations and demand for doctors in metro, regional, and remote areas.
According to the bi-annual report, almost every Australian state and industry is forecast to see a modest jobs growth in the next year: while SA remains flat, WA will continue to be the standout with a strong 2.5 per cent jobs growth expected.
Only the government, construction and property, and manufacturing sectors are expected to report declines of 3.4 per cent, 2.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.
“There’s a lot of business uncertainty after recent reports about the slow-down in China’s economy and the mining industry, and the rise of national unemployment figures but the overall outlook is quite encouraging as the economy continues to stabilise,” said Michael Emerson, from Economic and Market Development Advisors (EMDA).
“Losses of jobs in the next year will primarily be as a result of public sector job cuts and the strength of the Aussie dollar, which will send more of our manufacturing jobs overseas.”