One of the ideas I have been pushing in recent years to help alleviate the growing workforce shortage in New Brunswick is by encouraging older folks to stay in the workforce longer. On their terms – part time, summer, ad hoc, etc. but they could be an important source of workers for a number industries that are facing shortages. Virtually all of them have other sources of income so employment would provide supplemental income for things like travelling, etc.
The good news is that more New Brunswickers are staying in the workforce longer. Over the 2009 to 2019 timeframe, the number of those aged 65 and older who reported employment income doubled.
And the number reporting EI income rose by 160%.
Ah, New Brunswick.
Across the country, the growth in 65+ EI recipients was half the growth rate in New Brunswick over the same timeframe. In 2009, NBers 65+ collected EI at a rate 2.6 times the national level. By 2019, the ratio was 3.2 times as many.
I guess in some ways it is a logical consequence of my strategy. I am suggesting older NBers shouldn’t have to work year round or full time work. So that, I guess, means that many will work enough to get their EI cheques.
But the fact that 3.2 times as many seniors collect EI in New Brunswick compared to the rest of the country – it fits the stereotype.
Grannies and grampies getting the big stamp? Par for the course, I guess.