AFS Community Report Findings: Employment
Age-Friendly Sarasota recently completed an assessment of nearly 1,200 Sarasota County residents’ aspirations regarding community features across eight domains of livability. Findings were analyzed by age groups including Boomers (age 50-69 at the time of the study) and non-Boomer Elders (age 70+).
Employment is very important for many people and particularly, those with low and fixed incomes and others whose savings are not meeting their current needs. The ability to remain employed or find new employment provides both economic security as well as benefits to employers who recognize the experience and commitment that older employees bring to the workplace.
According to the Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report:
Flexible job opportunities, well-paying jobs for advanced skills and experience, and job training opportunities to learn new skills, top the list of employment features of most importance to Sarasota County residents interested in work opportunities:
- Nearly one in four (23%) Boomers and almost two-thirds (64%) of non-Boomer Elders are no longer in the workforce.
- Among those still employed, more than two-thirds of Boomers (63%) report the likelihood of putting off retirement compared to approximately one-third of non-Boomer Elders (29%).
The majority of all residents are unsure about the availability of employment features in Sarasota County:
- Compared to non-Boomer Elders, Boomers report greater gaps in the existence of employment features including well-paying jobs (59% vs. 48%), entrepreneurial assistance and options (63% vs. 54%), and flexible job opportunities (60% vs. 51%).
Sarasota County residents report employment opportunities along with impediments to working. Though many retired residents are not currently seeking employment, others express concerns about joining the workforce:
- Residents indicate variable status that range from employed to currently seeking employment, to not interested in finding a job.
- Reasons for working were based on economic necessity, desiring to stay socially engaged, and other personal reasons.
- Many reported that a combination of working and volunteering met economic, social, and personal goals.
- Residents identify multiple local organizations that commonly employ older workers for routine jobs such as baggers or greeters, but many report the lack of local employment and sectors for skilled workers as well as difficulties faced by professionals who have relocated to Florida.
- Residents appreciate work benefits such as flexible hours and insurance, but many express concerns about finding work, competing with younger workers, ageism in the workforce, the lack of training, and the ability to remain in the workforce.
- CATEGORIES: Civic Participation and Employment