New research suggests older workers have been less likely to lose their jobs during this recession than their younger colleagues.
The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland said the number of workers aged 55 or older rose by 50% in Northern Ireland in the last decade.
A seminar is being held on the issue later on Wednesday.
The centre's Paul McGill said large numbers of old people joined the workforce in NI during the last decade.
"There are a number of reasons why the participation of older people in the workforce should be encouraged," Mr McGill said.
"First of all, they reduce pressure on public finances through later retirement and increased tax and pension contributions.
"Secondly, they boost labour force growth, thereby offsetting the negative impact of population ageing on economic growth.
"And, finally, they smooth the pace at which employers will have to adjust the composition of their workforce."
Among the reasons for older people staying in their jobs longer were the impact of anti-discrimination legislation, poor private pension provision and the desire of many people to stay in work longer.