Age and Information Technology  in the U.S.

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The changing workforce. Most of the projected growth in the US labor force between 2000 and 2050 will be composed of workers aged 55 and over.Workers aged 55 and over will account for a larger share of the US labor force (12.9% in 2000; 18.8% in 2050).Source: Toosi, Mitra. A century of change:

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Age and Information Technology in the U.S.

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1. Age and Information Technology in the U.S. Jennifer Craft Morgan, Victor W. Marshall and Mairead Moloney, UNC at Chapel Hill AGHE Presidential Symposium Older Workers and Information Technology: A Global Challenge

2. The changing workforce Most of the projected growth in the US labor force between 2000 and 2050 will be composed of workers aged 55 and over. Workers aged 55 and over will account for a larger share of the US labor force (12.9% in 2000; 18.8% in 2050). Source: Toosi, Mitra. “A century of change: the US labor force, 1950-2050.” Monthly Labor Review, May 2002, Bureau of Labor Statistics

3. U.S. Population and labor force annual growth rates, 1950 to 2000, and 2000 to 2050 (projected)

4. The Image of Information Technology (IT) IT has an image of being youthful, male and white Attitudes toward older workers least positive regarding adaptation to new technology Access / social barriers to math and science education and related jobs Lack of retraining / continuing education options

5. Age and IT Older workers are underrepresented in the IT workforce. Workers over the age of 45 comprise 31.8% of the overall US workforce and only 25.4% of the IT workforce. Workers over 55 constitute 11.7% of the overall workforce but only 6.8% of the IT workforce (ITAA, 1997).

6. The Age Structure of IT

7. Age Discrimination in IT? Older IT workers (40 +) are more likely to lose their job than younger IT workers. Older IT workers are just as likely to find new jobs as younger workers and do so in a similar length of time. However, the new job is more likely to come with a pay cut in the case of older IT workers.

8. Age Discrimination in IT? Older workers face substantial entry barriers to occupations with computer usage (Hirsch, Macpherson & Hardy, 2000). Many older IT workers perceive age discrimination in recruitment and retention. According to the ITAA - only 19% of computer science graduates are still in IT 20 years later.

9. Gender and IT Though the participation rate of women in the US workforce is increasing, the participation rate of women in IT is decreasing in the overall IT workforce. 1996 2002 41% 34.9% Among computer professionals, only one out of five is a woman.

10. Gender and IT, cont. Women are overrepresented in low-status IT jobs (i.e. data entry keyers – 85%; computer operators 53%). Women are underrepresented in high-status IT jobs (i.e. electrical and electronic engineers, 9%; computer system analysts and scientists 27%; computer programmers 27%). On average, women’s earnings as compared to men’s in the IT field are better than in the general occupational structure (less pronounced disadvantage).

11. Race / ethnicity and IT

12. Race and Ethnicity Similar to patterns for women, racial and ethnic minorities are: overrepresented in low-status IT jobs (i.e. data entry keyers 16% for African Americans 12.6% for Hispanics) and underrepresented in high-status IT jobs (i.e electrical and electronic engineers 5.9% for African Americans and 4% for Hispanics). This situation is compounded by the fact that minorities are less likely to attend college or graduate school than women or white males.

13. The structure of the IT workforce As the IT industry grows, recruiting and retaining older workers, women and minorities will become increasingly important given the changing workforce. Systematic research on the barriers to recruitment and retention needs to be conducted (e.g., workplace & industry culture, age discrimination, employer attitudes).

14. www.aging.unc.edu Program on Older Workers and Retirement International Project: www.wane.ca

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