Best employment sectors for the over-fifties
In 2023, 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 2023, the share of workers aged 50 and over has more than doubled (2.6) in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Nevertheless, this development is not shared across all sectors. While the share of older workers in the education and public administration sectors was multiplied by 1.5, the accommodation and food service activities, and finance sectors saw their share increase fivefold.
This indicator has been first calculated in 2012, which was the European year for active ageing and solidarity between generations. At this date, LISER has developed, at the request of and in collaboration with the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the social and solidarity Economy, a research program concerning older workers and active ageing in Luxembourg. The aim of this program was to contribute to the reflection of Ministry on a proposition of a new law with respect to age policy measures by providing tools for reflection on company policies with respect to the situation of older workers including unemployment or retirement in Luxembourg. 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%). 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, followed by two others sectors with 6% of older workers: finance and professional; scientific and technical activities. In all other sectors, the share of older workers fluctuated between 8% and 10%.
In 2023, sectors of transport (32%) and manufacturing (32%) still represented the economic activities with the greatest share of older workers. Construction and real estate activities also show high shares of older workers in 2023 (32% and 33%, respectively). The economic activities of wholesale and retail trade, finance and insurance, public administration and other service activities recorded a proportion of older workers close to the national mean in 2023 (i.e. 27.2%). Finally, with one quarter of their employees aged 50+, the accommodation and food service sector is not anymore the youngest sector, and the professional; scientific and technical activities (18%) and information and communication (23%) sectors become the two youngest sectors in 2021; sectors which will probably be less affected than others, for the time being, by the process of retaining older workers in employment.
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 29 years (11% to 27.2%), in the public administration and education sectors 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 29 years: the share of older workers was multiplied by 4.9 in the accommodation and food service activities sector, by 4.7 in the financial and insurance activities sector, and by 3.6 in the construction sector.
Considering these figures, 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 labour market and the actions to take to allow older workers to stay longer in employment.
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 31% between 1994 and 2023.