The ageing workforce? Separating fact from hype

Doughney, James (2004) The ageing workforce? Separating fact from hype. Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 10 (2). pp. 25-60. ISSN 1325-2225


This article explains that much of the hype about workforce ageing in Australia is either exaggerated or plainly wrong. It is true that the workforce is ageing, as is our society generally. However, bigger and more important workforce developments have occurred and are occurring. The increase in women's participation and changes in labour demand derived from effective demand are far more significant. The paper demonstrates the one-sidedness of the supporting arguments for a 'crisis' of workforce ageing. It explains that a 'cult' of early retirement is a myth and proposals such as raising the statutory pension and superannuation preservation ages are unfounded. Arguments for an ageing 'crisis' have more to do with the neo-liberal ideological obsession with lower government spending and, in particular, reduced and or 'offloaded' welfare spending.

Additional Information

Presented originally as a paper at the Social Policy Research Centre Conference 2003. --

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 340000 Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Economics and Finance
Keywords ageing workforce, early retirement, workforce composition, women workers
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