The overall employment rate among the age 55 plus group is 40.2 percent; broken down further, this rate is 46.4 percent for men and 36.4 percent for women. These rates have been steadily increasing since 1993, with faster growth among women than men. Keep in mind that these employment rates include everybody age 55 and over, including people in their 60s, 70s, and beyond. Most likely, the employment rates for people at the lower end of this group -- ages 55 to 64 - are far higher than for those at the higher end -- age 65 and above.
Of course, you probably didn't need a study to tell you that older workers are delaying retirement due to inadequate 401(k) balances, an uncertain economy, and a lack of affordable health care. But it's interesting nonetheless.
Here are some other interesting factoids from EBRI's more extensive report issued earlier in the year.
- Employment rates among older Americans increase significantly for those with more education. For instance, half of all people age 65 to 69 with a bachelor's degree or higher were still working, and roughly one-third of all people age 70 to 74 with the same level of education were still working. This is somewhat surprising, given that people with higher educational levels are more likely to have higher incomes and hence more substantial financial resources for retirement. But it also might reflect that people with higher educational levels are more likely to be employable at older ages and more likely to understand the financial advantages of continued work.
- Individuals age 55 and over who don't have pension income are twice as likely to still be working compared to people with pension income. While the trend isn't surprising, the magnitude of the difference is.
So what are the implications for you, other than some interesting post-Labor Day musings? You certainly might think it's not your job to retire so that the young folks can be employed. But consider these ideas:
- Maybe you reduce your hours, providing more time to do what you've always wanted to do with your life.
- Maybe you give up some of your responsibilities to the younger folks who are itching to prove they can do the job. This lets you focus on doing work that you really enjoy and that you do well.
- Maybe you strike out on an entirely new career and provide a vacancy to someone else.
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