Report: More Than 20 Percent of Regional Workers Near Retirement Age

Aug 21, 2014

One-fifth of Northeast Indiana’s workforce is at or near retirement age. That’s according to a new report out Thursday.

The report from Northeast Indiana Works and the Community Research Institute at IPFW shows more than 20 percent of all working adults in the region are age 55 or older.

The percentages are even higher in public and private education, truck transportation and the manufacturing sector.

But people retire all the time, so why is this important?

According to Rick Farrant at Northeast Indiana Works, when employers lose longtime workers, they aren’t just losing an employee. They’re losing someone with skills and experience that can’t necessarily be taught right away.

And when some employers are already having trouble finding skilled workers and keeping up with industry demand, it makes the problem worse.

“We know that we have many employers out there who are having problems filling positions,” Farrant said. “So if you couple that situation with the fact that on the other end, you’re going to have a significant number of workers leaving, I think that sort of exacerbates the situation.”

Farrant says these looming retirements underscore the need to create ways for younger workers to get advanced skill training so they’re ready to fill jobs when they open up.