Are employers changing their behavior toward older workers?

This paper addresses possible changes in Dutch employers’ behavior regarding the recruitment and retention of older workers during the last decade. We analyze surveys administered to Dutch employers in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2009. The results show that efforts to recruit older workers are changing congruous with the economic climate, whilst retention behavior shows a clear and rather gradual time effect. We conclude that the position of older workers has improved between 2000 and 2008 and has done so in comparison withother underrepresented groups in the labor market. During the recession, recruitment of older workers declined substantially, while efforts to retain older workers are in both absolute and relative terms higher than in 2000. With respect to organizational policies, we conclude that throughout the period under observation these policies are dominated by measures that “spare” older workers.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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