Recently, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a special report on the Aging Professoriate: Aging Professors are Creating a Faculty Bottleneck indicating that at some universities 1 in 3 professors are now over 60. While the aging professors are creating a faculty bottleneck, aging workers are creating a disability bottleneck across the U.S. This presents an opportunity to retain our most experienced workers.
As the overall growth of the nation’s labor force is slowing, the labor force growth in the 55 and older population is rising—a demographic group with a gradual loss of function and an incidence of disability higher than that of other working age populations. Can we talk about disability? Not Really! Older workers, even as we are losing functionality, are least likely to self-identify as a person with a disability.