Silver is the new Black
The aging of populations is an unparalleled and inevitable global occurrence, generating concern about labor and skills shortages as well as pressure on public medical resources in many countries. One way to address these concerns is to extend the productive working lives of older people through appropriate retirement, retention and recruitment policies. Longer and secure working lives will lead to a greater probability for “active aging.”
Time is Running Out
People born during the baby boom period will turn 65 years old by 2022. Elderly people already accounted for almost half of total inpatient days in public hospitals. Inpatient services now cost more than HK$4,500 a day for each patient and represented over half of public hospital expenditure. It might also mean longer queues for treatment of chronic ailments such as heart disease, which is mostly suffered by older people.
The Census and Statistics Department expected that people aged 65 or above would account for up to 30 per cent of the city’s total population by 2041 up from 16%. The age group of 55-64 represented 15% of the total population in 2015, which equates to 25% of the working population. The dire situation is reflected in the graph showing extrapolation towards 2041, a mere 24 years down the road.
In 2017, Hong Kong’s labor force (not including foreign domestic helpers) of 3.64 million is projected to peak in four years (2021) at 3.68 million. Thereafter, the workforce will continue to decline at an average annual rate of 0.36% to 3.13 million by 2066. If this forecast comes true, surely the future of Hong Kong as an economic powerhouse is in jeopardy. Most of the population decline in the next 25 years will be among the younger labor force (age below 45), whose numbers are predicted to fall from 1.97 million in 2016 to 1.49 million by 2041.
New Sustainability Paradigm
An approach to help create more value for all concerning stakeholders in the society with a view to increase the “size of the pie” in the newly founded “Gig Economy”.