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a. 1. Discuss long-term projections for jobs in industries and occupations in the State that may provide employment opportunities for older workers. (20 CFR 641.302(d)) (May alternatively be discussed in the economic analysis section of strategic plan.)

Current Narrative:

The American workforce is getting older. In fact, by 2024 the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 25% of the US workforce will be composed of workers over the age of 55, and a third of those workers will be older than 65. The reasons, for the most part, are due to the country’s overall ageing population as a result of declining birth rates and better life expectancy. Alabama is a prime example of an aging nation as the 65 and older population is projected to increase by 382,140, or 50.1% between 2017 – 2040.


This is both a good thing and a challenge for employers. On the one hand, older employees bring experience, loyalty, stability and reliability to the office, particularly in these times of low unemployment and a tight labor market. But these same employees also require a different kind of approach to not only keep them productive and valuable while working, but also to ensure that they can smoothly transition to retirement without becoming a financial burden to their employers.       


According to the Alabama Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Division (LMI), the following are the top ten occupations that may potentially employ workers age 55 and older.

  • Food Preparation and Serving Workers
  • Cashiers
  • Waiters and Waitresses
  • Retail Salespersons
  • Truck Drivers
  • Janitors and Cleaners
  • Nurses Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants
  • Secretaries
  • Registered Nurses
  • Cooks


Many of these occupations, including food preparation, cashiers, waiters and waitresses, and retail sales start at the lower end of the pay scale. However, ADSS and its partner agencies will seek to place older workers in higher paying jobs where possible, including truck drivers, secretaries, and nurses.