Tuesday, July 22, 2008

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Spotlight Highlights Trends towards More Older Workers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)has issued a spotlight on older workers, finding that between 1977 and 2007, employment of workers 65 and over increased 101%, compared to a much smaller increase of 59% for total employment. For men over 65, the increase was 75%, but for women it was 147%. In addition, BLS notes that while the number of employed people age 75 and over is relatively small (0.8% of the employed in 2007), they had the most dramatic gain--increasing 172% between 1977 and 2007.

Among other topics addressed by the BLS reports:
  • This increase does not just reflect the aging of the baby-boom population, since none had yet reached age 65.
  • While part-time work among older workers began trending upward from 1990 to 1995, that trend has had a marked reversal with full-time employment rising sharply, with the number of older workers on full-time work schedules nearly doubling between 1995 and 2007 and the number working part-time rising just 19%; full-timers accounted for a majority among older workers, with 56% in 2007, up from 44% in 1995.
  • In 1977, about one-third of employed women 65 and older were married, but by 2007, married women accounted for nearly one-half of these workers.
BLS expects the growth in employment to continue. During the period 2006-2016, workers age 55-64 are expected to climb by 36.5% and the number of workers between the ages of 65 and 74 and those aged 75 and up are predicted to soar by more than 80%.

BLS also provides an audio file of this report.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "Spotlight on Older Workers (July 2008)

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