Of growing importance in the socioeconomic sphere is the aging of the American work force. This phenomena already has a significant impact on the nation's economy. Increasingly, it will affect the productivity of both public and private sectors and have an effect on the skill and manpower needs of newly emerging and old-line industries. It is a concern for those in human relations and collective bargaining, for institutions that provide and finance medical care, and for pension systems. Even the question of whether the public or the private sector is responsible to find solutions generates strong differences of opinion.
The papers collected in this volume reflect a wide diversity of viewpoints on these and related concerns. Specific issues addressed include national health insurance, the portability of pensions, the rising cost of providing benefits, the nature and cost of worker re-education, the productivity of older employees, alternative work arrangements for "senior citizens," and the role of the Social
Security system in national policy intervention.
Six sections encompass the twenty-eight essays: the aging of the work force as the "baby boomers" grow older, the "middle-aging" of the labor market, health issues and costs, the effects of the aging worker on productivity, their impact on economic distribution, and future challenges.
The contributors do not speak with a single voice; the papers present a divergence of viewpoints and recommendations. All, however, agree that the issue of the aging of the work force must be recognized and dealt with now. In The Aging of the American Work
Force, policymakers, educators, workers, and employers will find a framework for understanding and addressing this new phenomenon in our society.
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