Did you know that recent employment gains have come almost solely from the age cohort of people 55 years and up? In the September 2018 Employment Report, economist Bruce Steinberg examined labor force participation rate by age. Over the past decade, the number of employed people age 55 and up increased ten times more than people aged 25-54.
This statistic may be misleading at first. In sheer numbers, more older people are working than ever before. But in relation to the population at large, the labor force participation of this cohort has has remained steady. The prevalence of working seniors is due more to the fact that the population is aging in general, and there are more seniors than ever before. As Steinberg explains:
“Since the participation rate for this older group has remained steady while the number of them who are employed has increased (refer back to the first chart), we can comfortably conclude that the reason is because there is simply a more of them.
Therefore, much of the employment gains — and a persistently historical low unemployment rate — can be attributed to more older people working.”