Health, Job Loss, and Programs for Older Workers in Canada


  • Mary E. Rogers Simon Fraser University
  • Norm O'Rourke Simon Fraser University


older workers, Canada, health, job loss


Older workers represent a growing proportion of the labour force that is expected to reach 40% by the year 2010. Involuntary job loss within this group has also risen markedly over the past two decades. A review of existing research was conducted pertaining to the relationship between health and employment for this population, and programs to address job loss in latter career stages. Program managers and government personnel associated with these programs in British Columbia were also interviewed. While increased recognition of the need for older worker programs in Canada is positive, the top-down nature of their development, implementation and evaluation has meant that they are largely motivated by fiscal agendas. Although unemployment has a deleterious effect upon both the physiological and psychological health of older adults, this association is rarely considered in program planning or evaluation. Several courses of action to improve older worker programs in Canada are proposed. These include: paying greater heed to employment-related health issues; fostering multi-sectoral collaboration between government, business, communities and older workers and; devising evaluation systems that move beyond short-term quantitative methods toward more quaitative, long-term outcome measures.

Author Biographies

Mary E. Rogers, Simon Fraser University

Gerontology Research Centre and Programs

Norm O'Rourke, Simon Fraser University

Gerontology Research Centre and Programs


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How to Cite

Rogers, M. E. ., & O’Rourke, N. (2004). Health, Job Loss, and Programs for Older Workers in Canada. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 3(1), 35–42. Retrieved from