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9 jobs with the oldest American workers

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America is showing its age.

The country is increasingly getting older, and population growth is expected to slow and tilt toward the oldest age groups by 2050. The demographic shift will affect everything from demand for health care services to the shape of the workforce, which already is getting grayer as many baby boomers put off retirement because they enjoy their careers or need to sock away more money for retirement.

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This workforce shift is happening in a number of professions. In some cases, workers have aged in place as younger workers lost interest in pursuing those careers. Social changes and expectations that other industries -- such as health care and education -- will provide better career opportunities have prompted many younger people to pursue training in those fields.

Even so, some of America's oldest professions are eager to recruit younger workers.

About 34.4 million people over the age of 55 were in the workforce last year, including almost 9 million Americans older than 65 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). By comparison, about 31.5 million millennials, those between the ages of 25 to 34, participated in the workforce in 2016.

Across all occupations, about 23 percent of the American workforce is now 55 years or older. Read on to learn about which jobs in America have the highest share of older workers.

9. Farm supplies wholesalers: 38 percent

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Selling wholesale farm supplies such as fertilizers and seeds isn't a young person's job today. About 38 percent of these workers are 55 and older, and the median age stands at 48 years old.

By comparison, the national average of workers 55+ is 23 percent, while the median age is 42.

This career's graying demographics echo the overall aging of America's farmers, with some predicting the trend will lead to farm consolidation or real estate developers buying land as farmers retire. It's a solidly middle-class career, with the average annual salary pegged at about $65,000.

Groups such as the National Young Farmers Coalition are working to recruit new farmers by advocating for policies such as loan forgiveness for young agricultural workers.

8. Animal production and aquaculture: 39 percent

Like other farm-related occupations, animal production and aquaculture is an aging profession, with about 39 percent of its workers at least 55 years old. It also has the highest share of 65+ workers among the jobs on this list, given that almost 20 percent of its workers are over the standard retirement age.

The average annual salary is about $32,000, according to Data USA.

7. Retail florists: 39 percent

The retail florist industry is facing the perfect storm. Its aging workforce prompted one researcher to predict a decade ago that younger florists would blossom into leadership roles, yet the last few years have been rough for the industry.

Rather than holding steady, the retail floral industry has been crimped by online rivals. The number of local flower stores has dropped by one-quarter during the past decade, for instance.

And as flower shops wither, their workers are aging: The median now stands at 50.7 years old, compared with 42 for the workforce at large.

Wages may also make this job less attractive to younger workers because the average annual salary stands at about $22,400.

6. Libraries and archives: 40 percent

About four out of every 10 librarians and archivists are 55 years or older, according to the BLS. While that may play into stereotypes about librarians, there's an interesting phenomenon within the industry: Younger workers are entering it.

About one out of five librarians and archivists is between 25 to 34 years old, a higher share than the next two age groups, 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 years old. As libraries have widened their scope to include digital data and information, that's helping to draw in younger professionals.

The average salary for people working in libraries and archives is $30,252, according to Data USA.

5. Gift, novelty, and souvenir shops: 41 percent

The retail trade tends to employ younger Americans, with a few exceptions, including gift, novelty and souvenir shops. About 41 percent of workers in these stores are over 55 years old, according to BLS data. While the median age is 47.6 years old, about one out of five workers are over 65.

Older workers may gravitate to these shops for second jobs or to earn extra money while in retirement. The median wage for their workers stands at $22,477, according to Data USA.

4. Labor unions: 41 percent

Labor unions have suffered during the past several decades, losing influence as their membership numbers dwindled. Last year, about 41 percent of labor union employees were over the age of 55, according to the BLS. The median age stands at 48.8 years old.

However, unions are now experiencing a resurgence, thanks to the efforts of movements such as the Fight for 15. At the same time, the AFL-CIO and other groups are reaching out to younger workers in an effort to tap into frustrations about stagnant wages and fewer opportunities.

The average annual salary for labor union workers is $69,089, according to Data USA.

3. Religious organizations: 43 percent

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Priests and other religious workers are getting older. The average age of Catholic priests in the U.S. rose from 35 to 63 between 1970 to 2009, according to Georgetown University.

This comes as Americans are losing their religion: More than one of five Americans have no formal religious identity compared with about 2 percent in the 1940s, according to Gallup.

The average salary of people working for religious organizations is $30,755, according to Data USA.

2. Sewing, needlework, and piece goods stores: 43 percent

Like gift store employees, workers at sewing and needlework stores are on the older end of the spectrum. While sewing isn't as popular as it was in earlier decades, home-made goods are enjoying a resurgence, thanks to millennial hipsters and the rise of online craft emporium Etsy (ETSY).

That's evident in a boost in younger workers in sewing and needlework shops. About 16 percent of employees are between 25 to 34 years old, compared with just 9 percent for those between 35 to 44.

The average salary for workers in these shops is $21,786, according to Data USA.

1. Personal and household goods repair: 44 percent

Even though Americans have more household appliances than ever, they may think twice about paying for repairs than in earlier decades. That's partly due to cheaper imports, which may make it tougher to justify a repair versus buying a new appliance.

Still, workers with repair skills are in demand, with the BLS noting in a research note that repairers can often retrain for other trades with more job openings, such as in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

About 15 percent of personal and household goods repairers are over 65 years old, while 29 percent are 55 to 64 years old. The median age of this workforce is 51.9, the oldest of all the industries tracked by the BLS.

The average salary in this line of work is $32,012, according to Data USA.

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