Report

Aging Workforce in Canada – The ratio of younger workers to older workers declined from 2.7 in 1996 to 1.0 in 2018

Over the past two decades, the share of the employed population aged 55 and over increased significantly. This study uses Census of Population and Labour Force Survey data to examine the changing age composition of workers within the most prevalent occupations (with at least 10,000 workers), as well as the occupations that are increasing and decreasing in size most rapidly.

  • The ratio of younger workers to older workers, defined in this study as the number of workers aged 25 to 34 for each worker aged 55 or over, declined from 2.7 in 1996 to 1.0 in 2018.
  • The share of workers aged 55 and over in many occupations was smaller for women than for men, reflecting women’s more recent entry into certain occupations. For example, the proportion of general practitioners and family physicians aged 55 and over was twice as high for men (38%) as for women (19%) in 2016, up from 25% for men and 7% for women in 1996.
  • Workers who provide care to an increasingly older population are themselves aging. Among female registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, 1 in 5 were aged 55 and over in 2016, compared with 1 in 10 in 1996. The ratio of younger to older female workers in this occupation declined from 4.5 in 1996 to 1.6 in 2016.
  • In some occupations, population aging may be exacerbated by difficulties attracting younger workers, or by structural changes such as increased automation, which decreases the overall number of workers. Among managers in agriculture, for instance, more than half (52%) were aged 55 and over in 2016, and the ratio of younger workers to older workers was 0.2.
  • Aging was a smaller issue for fast-growing occupations such as professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations. The total number of workers in this occupation grew by 256% from 1996 to 2016, while the share of older workers rose modestly from 8% to 13% over the same period.
  • Over the past two decades, the share of the employed population aged 55 and over increased significantly. This study uses Census of Population and Labour Force Survey data to examine the changing age composition of workers within the most prevalent occupations (with at least 10,000 workers), as well as the occupations that are increasing and decreasing in size most rapidly.
  • The ratio of younger workers to older workers, defined in this study as the number of workers aged 25 to 34 for each worker aged 55 or over, declined from 2.7 in 1996 to 1.0 in 2018.
  • The share of workers aged 55 and over in many occupations was smaller for women than for men, reflecting women’s more recent entry into certain occupations. For example, the proportion of general practitioners and family physicians aged 55 and over was twice as high for men (38%) as for women (19%) in 2016, up from 25% for men and 7% for women in 1996.
  • Workers who provide care to an increasingly older population are themselves aging. Among female registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, 1 in 5 were aged 55 and over in 2016, compared with 1 in 10 in 1996. The ratio of younger to older female workers in this occupation declined from 4.5 in 1996 to 1.6 in 2016.
  • In some occupations, population aging may be exacerbated by difficulties attracting younger workers, or by structural changes such as increased automation, which decreases the overall number of workers. Among managers in agriculture, for instance, more than half (52%) were aged 55 and over in 2016, and the ratio of younger workers to older workers was 0.2.
  • Aging was a smaller issue for fast-growing occupations such as professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations. The total number of workers in this occupation grew by 256% from 1996 to 2016, while the share of older workers rose modestly from 8% to 13% over the same period.

 

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Results from the 2016 Census: Occupations with older workers

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