Half of employers (53%) plan to hire mature workers age 50 or older in 2014 — up from 48% last year — according to an annual CareerBuilder survey.

A third (34%) of employers say they received applications from mature workers for entry-level positions, and 77% of employers say they would consider hiring a mature worker for a job, even if that applicant is overqualified. Only 9% would not, on the basis of not being able to match salary demands.   

The survey brings “good news for workers looking for a new job at the end of their career,” says Michael Erwin, a spokesperson for CareerBuilder. “In ongoing discussions with employers, we constantly hear that mature workers are good hires because of the intellectual capital that they bring to the team.”

Less money has to be spent training mature workers and “they can act as mentors to the younger teammates. It makes good business sense to have a diverse workforce as companies continue to come out of the recession,” Erwin adds.

The recession caused many workers to delay retirement plans or forego them completely, but the survey also shows fewer full-time workers older than 60 are putting off their retirement: 58%, down from 61% in 2013 and a peak of 66% in 2010.

The nationwide survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, found that 10% of workers over the age of 60 feel they’ll never be able to retire. This is relatively unchanged from 11% in 2013. Half, or 50%, say they’ll be able to retire within four years — a slight improvement from 47% last year.

Women are far more likely to delay retirement than men: 71% of women as compared with 49% of men, the survey found. And, 18% of women over the age of 60 don’t think they will ever be able to retire, compared to 7% of men.

Most employees who delayed retirement say they did so for the following reasons:

  • couldn’t afford to retire financially (79%)
  • need the health insurance and benefits (61%)
  • enjoy their job (49%)
  • enjoy where they work (46%)
  • fear retirement may be boring (27%)

“While achieving a secure retirement is still a challenge for many in the workforce, the survey points to some positive trends,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession. Additionally, more workers expect to be able to retire without having to pick up a part-time job to supplement their incomes. And even if they are looking for work, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”
The survey was conducted between Nov. 6 to Dec. 2, 2013 among a representative sample of 433 full-time workers age 60 or older and 2,201 hiring and human resources managers.

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