Many more seniors at work

In the last three years, the number of workers aged 65 and over has increased by 12%, from 173,100 in 2019 to 194,100 last month, to the delight of employers who are adopting this experience in stores.

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Even though their employment rate was 11.2% in May 2022, similar to 2019 (11.1%), they are increasingly visible in stores The newspaper.

“As long as my health is good, I certainly won’t sit in a chair. When you sit in a chair you think, sometimes you think too much in vain,” says Robert Desjardins, a 78-year-old grandfather, an employee at RONA Boucherville.

“When I come home in the morning and put on my uniform and mine JawI’m happy,” says Michèle Gagné, 68, a cashier at Labor Jean Coutu in the Loretteville neighborhood of Quebec.

Today there are many like her, although Quebec lags behind the rest of the country with a 5% lower labor force participation rate of 51% among 60-64 year olds, notes Simon Savard, chief economist at the Institut du Québec.

“Women generally retire earlier in Quebec and we have more public sector employees,” he notes.

Maintain your standard of living

He believes opportunities for these workers will continue to rain down with historically low unemployment and a plethora of vacancies.

“There are many who want to remain active, but in a different way than in a previous life because the interest in work isn’t that great anymore,” he says.

“In many cases, they return to the labor market to maintain their standard of living,” stresses Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, President of the Réseau FADOQ, who recalls that many are struggling to make ends meet.

Barely 41% of Quebecers have an employer pension plan, she says.

at protocolLabor Minister Jean Boulet advocates their retention.

“They have valuable know-how and experience for companies. They are the most numerous among the groups that are less represented in the labor market,” he analyses.

“Getting them back and keeping their jobs are important solutions to addressing labor shortages,” he says.

For Joëlle Noreau, senior economist at Desjardins, we need to go back to the 1990s to better understand early retirement.

“One popular expression, ‘Liberté 55,’ legitimately portrayed the ambition to break free from work at age 55,” she recalls.

“toy store”

Supermarkets and pharmacies are looking for these workers.

At Jean Coutu, a “Welcome to pensioners” sign greets customers.

At RONA they make up 10% of the workforce and are highly valued if we are to believe Marc Larouche, interim national director of talent acquisition.

“We have a lot of seniors who come from the construction industry who like to talk about building and do a bit of handicrafts. It’s like a toy store for them,” he says. For him, these employees are “gold bars”.

For Robert Desjardins, who is approaching his 80th birthday, working is a way of life. After the hardware store went bust, Pascal went back to school at 47 to become a plumber, but by the time he retired he was twiddling his thumbs.

“In the first year of my retirement I did nothing. I said to myself, that’s all well and good, but I was always going to the stores,” he says.

“You have to move. If you don’t move, it’s not good,” philosophizes the man, who uses the money he earns for his small expenses in the restaurant and in the chalet.

“Everybody’s Grandma”


At Jean Coutu in Loretteville, Michèle Gagné (68) is proud to be able to give her advice to the youngest employees.

With kind approval

At Jean Coutu in Loretteville, Michèle Gagné (68) is proud to be able to give her advice to the youngest employees.

236 kilometers away, in Jean Coutu in Loretteville, Quebec, Michèle Gagné says she “fell into the Obélix potion” at her pharmacy where she used to pick up her medication.

After 30 years in the banking industry and struggling against a protracted illness, she joined Jean Coutu’s local team.

“I’m everyone’s grandmother,” says the woman who doesn’t want to do without the team spirit that prevails behind the counter.

“I took a lot of notes. I made a guide of about forty practices to follow in my free time,” she says.

Today his patiently written notes are a reference. “I did it in the evenings for fun,” she says.

▶In Quebec, a tax credit for SMEs that encourage retention of experienced workers can reach 75% of contributions for workers aged 65 and over, up to $1,875 per worker.

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