Richard W. Johnson, Gordon Mermin, and Matthew Resseger have authored a report for the Urban Institute describing the job demands faced by workers today, the changes over time in job demands, and the impact of those changes on the employability of older workers. In the report--Employment at Older Ages and the Changing Nature of Work, the authors linked job characteristics data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to the Current Population Survey to calculate the proportion of workers facing various types of job demands in 2006 and 1971. Employment projections were used to estimate the prevalence of job demands in 2014 and in 2041. The job attributes that were considered included physical demands, nonphysical demands, and difficult workplace conditions. They also examined how job demands varied by demographic characteristics, including gender, educational attainment, race, and age.
Looking ahead, they concluded that the prevalence of job demands will not change much in the coming decades. This forebodes well for the continued employability of older adults. In addition, the authors believe that the increase in cogntively demanding work will not prevent many workers from extending their worklives.
Source: Urban Institute Research Summary (March 28, 2008)