Majority of Chinese at retirement age want to remain employed

Among the reasons why senior workers wish to re-enter the workforce are self-esteem and financial pressure, according to a survey.
By: | October 25, 2022

Over two-thirds of Chinese at retirement age are keen to re-enter the workforce, a survey by Chinese recruitment platform 51 jobs has revealed. Particularly, 68% of older workers expressed a strong desire to remain employed after retirement age, whether it was out of financial necessity or a need to remain active. 

The survey further revealed that over 30% of older workers want to work to supplement their household income, 46.7% said continued employment would help them cater to their “spiritual needs” by fulfilling social responsibilities, while 18.3% said they were looking for work to ease pressure on their family’s next generation.

With a shrinking workforce and a greying population, China plans to slowly delay retirement from 2025 but many jobs in the private and public sectors are only available to those under 35. Age discrimination was cited as the biggest barrier to re-employment in the survey, with more than 41% saying it had affected their ability to find jobs.

READ: China faces largest retirement wave in next 10 years

For those without qualifications, the service and logistics sectors were the most popular fields to seek employment in.

Professor Amy Y.M. Chow, Associate Director of the Sau Po Centre on Ageing at the University of Hong Kong, said, “Some jobs in the service sector, such as social caring, are quite suitable for older people because they tend to be more patient.”

She points out that self-esteem and financial pressure are the two main reasons seniors seek to return to work. “But now that the global economy is not promising, it’s actually very difficult to put them back to work,” she noted, reported South China Morning Post.