Workplace Aging and Jobs in the Twenty-First Century

  • Margaret E. BeierEmail author
  • W. Jackeline Torres
  • Daniel J. Beal


The automation of jobs and job tasks will impact the type of work that is available and how this work gets done in the twenty-first century. At the same time, the global workforce is aging. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the confluence of these two factors—the aging labor force and the automation of job tasks. In particular, we describe the types of jobs that are likely to be available in the twenty-first century and how these jobs will be suited to the unique skills, abilities, and needs of older workers. Herein, we discuss theories of work design most related to aging workers, describe age-related trajectories of motivation and abilities, and consider the types of abilities that are most likely to be tapped by different types of jobs. We describe these factors within the context of economic forecasts about the labor market of the future. We conclude by identifying areas of future research, including how best to engage and train older workers for work in the twenty-first century.


Desire of older workers by organizations Models of job design Older workers and design of work Training and older workers Age-related ability changes Age-related motivation changes Ability-related job demands Labor market trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret E. Beier
    • 1
    Email author
  • W. Jackeline Torres
    • 1
  • Daniel J. Beal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ManagementPamplin College of Business, Virginia Institute of TechnologyBlacksburgUSA

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