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News » Surge in older workers boosting U.S. labor force

Surge in older workers boosting U.S. labor force

Today’s older workers have longer working hours, higher educational qualifications, and better access to employer-provided benefits. (Photo from Pexels)

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES — More older Americans are increasingly delaying retirement to continue working, according to new research from the Pew Research Center.

Data showed about 19% of Americans aged 65 and above were employed in 2023, marking a significant shift in the American workforce in 35 years.

These senior workers are not just more in number; their earnings have also increased. 

In 2022, an average worker aged 65 or older earned $22 per hour. This is a significant jump from the $13 hourly wage in 1987. The increasing wage among older workers also narrows their gap with younger workers aged 25 to 64.

Pew Research Center also found that today’s older workers have longer working hours, higher educational qualifications, and better access to employer-provided benefits like pension plans and health insurance. 

Data shows 62% of them are engaged in full-time jobs compared to 47% in 1987. A notable 44% also hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

Older workers also stand out in their job satisfaction levels. They report higher job enjoyment and fulfillment and less stress than younger workers. Their growing participation in the workforce is evident in their contribution to 7% of all wages and salaries paid by U.S. employers in 2023, a threefold increase from 1987.

The older workforce’s demographic composition has also evolved, reflecting broader societal changes. Women now constitute a larger portion of this segment, and their educational attainment has significantly increased. Racial and ethnic diversity is also more evident, although the younger workforce remains more diverse.

As the labor market continues to transform, the role and influence of older workers are projected to expand further, indicating a continuing trend of active, higher-earning seniors shaping the American workforce landscape.

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