The elderly are taking increasingly precarious jobs

The world economy is going through a major change, let's see how it affects the new jobs for seniors.

Senior adult holding a shoe

Little by little, people over 60 are being included in the payroll. / Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Los ancianos están tomando trabajos cada vez más precarios

We are in a time of global economic recession. The World Bank's specialized website highlights it as the "worst recession since World War II", given that the global economy could be reduced by 5.2% this year, according to the forecasts of this organization.

This implies, of course, many paradigm shifts in the structure of the countries, but also in the markets. Specifically, we are talking about some companies, which are operating in different ways than we knew. One of them, according to what the Xataka website highlights, is that the elderly are taking increasingly precarious jobs.

Against this background, we decided to find out what is happening to the elderly who want to continue and even return to work after a "break." Who are the entities that would be interested in their services, how they could use them, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of their future?

The elderly and employment

Recently, the website of La Nación mentioned that there are "companies that are looking for workers over 60 years old." In other words, there are companies that are interested in acquiring the services of experienced people, who, despite having the possibility of retiring (or being close to that stage) want to continue with their responsibilities for a while.

People of that age seem to be "eager" to continue working, something that the companies themselves are noticing. Therefore, little by little, people over the age of 60 are being included in the payroll, with experience, trajectory, and perseverance being some of the values best taken into account.

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In the United States, for example, The Epoch Times website mentions that "the elderly in the United States are looking for work", being generally grouped within the less qualified sectors. Despite having a great background, they can apply for functions such as babysitting, taxi drivers, or retail businesses.

This can go to extremes, as mentioned in the Nuevo Diario Web. They comment on the story of Ike Baker, from Dayton, Tennesse, who with his 92 years of life continues to work at a local McDonald's. He is a man that is "quite effective in his work", who seems to show that retirement, in some cases, depends on the desire that each person has.

This seems to be reinforced by the trend reported by the Business Insider medium, which highlights that some fast-food chains, such as McDonald's itself or Bob Evans, are hiring more and more seniors. This situation has quite a particular logic, which is also criticized by several people.

First of all, it responds to market logic. Young people opt for higher-skilled and higher-paying jobs, so you always need someone who is willing to take the “less reputable” ones. On the other hand, it is the elderly themselves who, in most cases, are "forced" to continue with their jobs to live, so they decide to fill those positions that young people leave vacant. In other words, there is a high demand for these positions, as in fast-food jobs, but there is a lack of youth supply, covered by the elderly.

The future in this area appears to be uncertain. For now, there are some initiatives on the part of the countries to stretch the minimum age for retirement. For example, the Ámbito website mentions that, in Argentina, the Minister of Labor, Claudio Moroni, left open the “possibility of modifying the retirement age”, because the life expectancy of the population continues to grow and that implies that they can be of retirement age.

From a Latin American perspective, the Infobae website highlights that provisional issues "will have to be debated at some point," due to the aging of the population, something that occurs thanks to the advancement of science and life expectancy. In Europe, the population over 65 years of age went from 8% to 16% in 56 years, but, according to forecasts, this will only take 24 years in our region.

Although the minimum varies from country to country, the minimum in the region occurs in Bolivia, where women can retire from the age of 50, while the maximum is shared by several countries, remaining at 65 years (such as Chilean, Peruvian and Mexicans). For now, it remains to be seen how they will adapt to the new market circumstances in this pandemic context.