Best employment sectors for the over-fifties
In 2018, the sectors of real estate, of manufacturing, of construction and of transportation were the sectors employing the largest number of older workers in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Significant disparities between sectors
In 1994, the rate of workers aged 50 and over at work was 11%. At that time, the sectors with the fewest older workers were, among others, those in the accommodation and food service (5%) and finance and insurance (6%). In comparison, the sectors of public administration (18%) and education (16%) had the largest rate of workers aged 50 and over.
Contrasting rise in older workers according to sector
Between 1994 and 2018, the share of workers aged 50 and over has more than doubled in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Nevertheless, this development is not shared across all sectors. While the share of older workers in the education sector was multiplied by 1.4, the share in the accommodation and food service activities sector has quadrupled.
This indicator has been calculated in the framework of the research project on active ageing* led by LISER in 2012 at the request of the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social Economy, in order to contribute to its reflection on a proposition of a new law with respect to age policy measures (introduced in April 2014; click here for more information). This indicator shows the evolution of the share of older workers (50 years old and over) in companies by economic activity (naceRev2).
In 1994, 11% of the workers were 50 years old or over. Four economic activities in particular had a high share of older workers: public administration (18%), education (16%), manufacturing (15%) and transport/storage (14%). Where the share of older workers in the real estate activities sector (12%) was around the national mean in 1994, the youngest sector, with no more than 5% of older workers, was the accommodation and food service activities sector. In all other sectors, the share of older workers fluctuated between 6% and 10%.
In 2018, sectors of transport (29%) and manufacturing (29%) still represented the economic activities with the greatest share of older workers. However, with respectively 29% and 30% of older workers in 2018, the sectors of construction and real estate activities are also ones with a high proportion of older workers. The economic activities of finance and insurance (24%), wholesale and retail trade (24%), and health and social work (26%) recorded a proportion of older workers close to the national mean in 2018. Finally, the sector of information and communication (19% of older workers) is one of the youngest sector in 2018 with the one of accommodation and food service (20%). We can imagine that these sectors will probably be less concerned than others by the promotion of active ageing for now.
Finally, the economic activities with the highest share of older workers in 1994 were not those which had witnessed the most important growth. For example, though the share of older workers in domestic employment has more than doubled in 24 years (11% to 25%), in the public administration sector it was multiplied by 1.5 over the same period. In contrast, the sectors with the lowest share of older workers in 1994 saw the strongest growth in 24 years: the share of older workers was multiplied by 3.9 in the accommodation and food service activities sector, and by 4 in the financial and insurance activities sector.
The process of keeping older workers employed in the workforce does not currently affect all sectors in the same way. However, all firms should be aware of the challenges that stem from the ageing population in the labor market and the actions to take to allow older workers to stay longer in employment. Between 2004 and 2012**, firm awareness appears to have positively changed since the practices within the human resources management policies have evolved. In comparison with 2004, more firms implement working conditions arrangements or professional training in 2012. Indeed, regardless of the type of arrangements (hours or task), companies are more likely in 2012, to adopt working conditions arrangements globally oriented towards a better quality of life at work for all employees. For tasks’ arrangements, some companies tend to most often meet the demands of their seniors compared to their youngest employee; we can imagine that these firms are firms with harder working conditions, and where health, for instance, of older workers is a crucial issue. Concerning the professional training, the practice was common place within firms in 2004, and thanks to State aid, in 2012, employees can undergo training at almost all the firms.
However, as active ageing is a transversal issue that involves many partners and requires the coordination of different public policies, companies do not have to manage this challenge alone. Rather, it concerns the firms, which might want and be able to keep older workers, the workers who themselves might also want and be able to work longer, as well as the public authorities who should support and promote these changes.
*In the framework of the European year for active ageing and solidarity between generations in 2012, LISER has developed, in collaboration with the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social Economy, a research program concerning active ageing in Luxembourg. The aim of this program was to provide tools for reflection on company policies with respect to active ageing, the situation of older workers including unemployment or retirement and public policies implemented in Luxembourg and other countries.
** Source: Two surveys by LISER: Survey « Keeping older worker at work » (MTA-2004, in collaboration with the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social Economy, and the Industrial Relations and Employment observatory), and the survey “Active ageing” (2012 - in collaboration with the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social Economy)
People with a job in domestic employment in Luxembourg on the 31st of March of each year: including salaried workers ("statut unique") and the civil servants; excluding the unsalaried, unemployed and people not in domestic employment in Luxembourg.
*This field is quite different from the one used in the publication in which the indicator appears (domestic employment in the private sector). This is why some differences can occur in the results.
IGSS data (march of each year), calculations LISER
In order to respect the protection of personal data, IGSS has used a specialized software to round numbers in order to insure additivity of the tables as much as possible. Real numbers are rounded up or down to the tens of units (but not necessarily to the closest ten) so as to reduce the risk of identification and disclosure.
In the economic activity of « manufacturing », the share of older workers (50 years old and more) has risen from 15% to 29% between 1994 and 2018.