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Higher proportion of people over 65 in the U.S. are working

Written by Diane Archer
Not only are Americans in their 40s and 50’s expecting to work past 65 today, but today many more Americans over 65 are working than ever before.  The Census Bureau attributes this increase in workforce participation among older adults over the last two decades both to longer life spans and increasing financial insecurity. Between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. saw a large increase in the proportion of people over 65 working. By 2010, 16.1 percent of people over 65 were in the labor force, up from 12.1 percent in 2000.

As might be expected, the biggest increase in workers over 65 was among the 65-69 population.  In 2010, more than 3 in 10 of them (30.8 percent) were working, up from slightly more than 2 in 10 of them (21.8 percent) ten years earlier. Of those workers, 35.8 percent were men and 26.4 percent were women.  And, in 2011, a significant percentage of people over 65 in the labor force (44.3 percent) worked full time, year-round.In 2011, 73.5 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 64 were in the labor force.

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