Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Older people at work

The graph above comes from the Department of Labour's fact sheet on older workers in the NZ labour market. Apart from the fact that the first box should read working-age population 55 years and older (and not 15 years and older) this is an interesting graph to ponder on when you're thinking about church and older people. (As I always seem to be doing - must be something to do with now being a superannuitant!)

Notice that there's a good percentage of people in the work force compared to those out of it, but that within those who are employable or wanting to be employed, only 2.8% are out of work. By contrast, have a look at the youth graph.

There are about three times as many youth in the 15-19 age bracket, yet there are ten times as many unemployed. This presumably isn't counting those who are studying or at school - it's those who want to be employed and are not.

What questions does this raise in terms of church? Does it say that older workers won't be as readily available to do volunteer work? Does it say there's a big need for youth programmes that assist them into employment. How can the church help? What other questions does it ask?

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