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Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers
while the three other proportionately high occupational categories for females are all service-related (administrative support, private household service, and services–other). By contrast, males make up a large part of two different largest occupational groups for older workers: transportation and material moving, and farming/forestry/fishing. The two other highest proportion male occupations are new (precision production/craft/repair and protective services). Only one of the four is a service occupation.
Determining older-worker-intensive occupations is, as with industries, predicated on the question asked and whether gender is of interest, and some patterns emerge. In addition, the occupational categories examined here are broadly defined. There may be differences (which should be researched, particularly to determine the within-occupation variance) at more detailed levels within categories.
Anticipated changes in employment for older workers. Older-worker-intensive occupations can also be examined in terms of projections of future trends. BLS projections of growth or decline in occupational categories have been described by Hecker (2001). Examining the rate of change in employment projected for each occupational category through 2010 suggests the following:
Of the occupations highlighted above on the basis of high current numbers of older workers the projected rate of employment growth is high only for professional specialty. The other three occupations have projected growth rates below the median.
For the additional occupations highlighted above on the basis of within-occupation percentage of older workers (for older workers overall and for older male workers: transportation and material moving; for older female workers: private household service; and for older male workers: protective services) projected employment growth is among the highest. All but one are service occupations.
The occupational categories projected to show the greatest growth in employment through 2010 are protective services, professional specialty, private household services, and other services. Each of these is highlighted as older-worker intensive by one or both of the questions posed above.
Overall, then, it can be predicted that older-worker-intensive occupations will experience high growth in employment over this decade. On that account, and on account of the predicted growth in the older worker labor force over this period (with shifts also toward a greater percentage of workers being older workers), we can predict that there will be more older workers in the older-worker-intensive occupations in 2010.