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PwC: Australian economy could benefit from older workers

Published: July 29, 2016

Capitalising on the country’s older workforce could significantly benefit the Australian economy, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Research suggests that if Australia’s employment rates for those aged over 55 were increased to those in seen in Sweden then Australian GDP could grow by 4.7 per cent.

PwC’s ‘Golden Age Index’ examined the labour market impact of workers aged over 55 in 34 OECD countries.

Australia was ranked 16th of the 34 OECD countries, with Nordic countries proving the strongest users of older workers.

PwC economics and policy partner Jeremy Thorpe explained Australia’s population of those aged over 60 years is set to grow by around 33 per cent by 2030.

“The Golden Age Index shows that compared to other OECD economies, older Australians are under utilised in the labour market and our policy frameworks may inhibit their ability to make important contributions to our economic, social and public life,” said Mr Thorpe.

“The countries who performed strongly in this report all have three key labour market themes in common: encouraging later retirement; improving employability and lifelong education and training; and, reducing employment barriers for older workers.”

He added: “There is considerable economic gain to Australia in encouraging more older Australians into the workforce. We have a rapidly ageing population and this puts pressure on the health and social care systems and also threatens the financial sustainability or some public and private pensions.”

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