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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Two global mega-trends — automation and aging — are coming together to upend the future of work.

Why it matters: The world is aging, and older people are a larger share of the global population than ever. But a critical lack of job retraining programs targeting workers over 50 is putting this growing population at risk, per a new report from the research arm of professional services firm Marsh & McLennan.

The state of play: Older workers are under-appreciated in the global workforce, says Yvonne Sonsino, one of the report's contributors.

  • In 2015, workers over 50 contributed $7.6 trillion to the American economy, and that's projected to go up to $13.5 trillion by 2032.
  • But the average older worker in the U.S. is working a job that's more than 50% automatable — meaning over half of the tasks included in the job can eventually be done by a machine. These occupations include everything from heavy manufacturing jobs to clerical, back-office work.
  • Most upskilling and reskilling programs — whether at community colleges or through boot camps — are geared toward younger people. But it's actually cheaper to train older workers who have decades of experience in the workforce than it is to train new graduates, the researchers found. In the U.K., for example, the government spends around $840 per learner aged 25–49, compared to around $420 per learner aged 50–74.

The bottom line: Just 4% of companies around the globe surveyed by the World Economic Forum in 2016 say they see the value in investing in their older employees.

Go deeper: Robots are stepping in to help solve the worker shortage driven by aging

Go deeper

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.

6 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.