Older workers are an increasingly important part of Atlantic Canada’s labour market. The number of workers aged 55-64 years in the Atlantic provinces has doubled over the last decade to more than 136,000. Older workers now represent about 12.6% of the region’s workforce, compared with only 7.1% in 1996. Furthermore, women account for a growing proportion of these older workers – about 44% in 2006, up from 28% in 1976.
Yet many displaced older workers face greater risks in the labour market. Older workers are losing jobs as manufacturing plants in the Atlantic provinces close or downsize, but they may not have the skills necessary to secure new jobs in the service sector. Looking ahead, older workers will be increasingly sought after to help meet projected labour shortages as the region’s labour force contracts. This Report Card examines these two issues from an Atlantic Canadian perspective.