According to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, nationally, 23.2% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 were in the labor force (either working or looking for work) in 2006--an increase from 19.6% in 2000.
On a regional basis, states with some of the lowest rates of older workers in the labor force included West Virginia (15.7%), Michigan (18.8%) and Arizona (19.4%), while some of the highest rates were found in South Dakota, Nebraska and Washington, D.C., all with about one-third of people in this age group in the labor force.
Among the 20 largest metro areas, Washington, D.C., had the highest percentage of people in the labor force in this age group (31.8%), followed by Boston (28.1%), Dallas-Fort Worth (27.9%), Minneapolis-St. Paul (27.4%), and Houston (26.5%).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau News Release (September 12, 2007)
Related Stories: Minneapolis Star-Tribune "Census: Retirement age doesn't mean 65" (September 12, 2007); Washington Post "Area Leads Nation in Putting Off Retirement" (September 12, 2007)