A new poll released this week shows that steadily more Norwegians want to work longer, at least until they turn 70. Most get squeezed out of the labour market, though, by employers who prefer younger, and presumably cheaper, workers.
The new poll conducted for the Norwegian center for senior policy (Senter for Seniorpolitikk) showed that fully 29 percent of employees now want to work until age 70 or beyond. That’s an increase of 23 percent over last year.
Most wanted to work until age 66, up from age 62 10 years ago. The study, conducted by Ipsos MMI, attributed the desire for an extended work life to better health, the positive social factors of working and having colleagues, a lack of workers in some fields and senior policies that can make working longer more attractive, such as extra vacation.
From an employers’ point of view, however, workers aged 55 and over are the least popular. The portion of employers willing to hire senior workers has fallen from 63 percent to 53 percent in the past two years.
The center for senior policy pointed out the paradox of older workers being squeezed out, because it collides head on with government policies and pension economics calling for workers to work longer. That’s difficult if employers won’t have them. The center worries that Norway’s recent rise in unemployment, because of lower oil prices, will also press more seniors out of the job market and force them to retire early, or at Norway’s offical retirement age of 67.