Further Evidence Older Workers Are Staying

We continually see studies that reveal how older workers are delaying their retirements. Indeed, as recently as this past Monday, we posted a piece on this blog that made that very point.

Some 82 percent of working Americans over 50 say it is somewhat likely they will work for pay in retirement, according to a piece about the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll reported on in that post.

Well, if you’re looking for more proof of this, here’s the latest from Gallup (just released yesterday):

S169277210ince 2010, Gallup reports, there’s been a three-point increase in the percentage of Americans ages 65 and older who are still in the workforce—employed full-time through an employer, self-employed, working part-time or unemployed but actively searching for work. (The results are based on more than 350,000 interviews per year with U.S. adults ages 18 and older.)

On the other end of the spectrum, there has been a two-point decrease in the percentage of Americans ages 18 to 29 who are in the workforce.

Not that we didn’t see this coming, but the recession has clearly taken its toll on older Americans, who have postponed their retirements—or who, having retired, are now being forced to re-enter it.

Gallup’s employment data show that 12 percent of those 65 and older are now employed full-time for an employer or are self-employed full-time, compared to 9 percent in 2010, suggesting that many older Americans are keeping their full-time jobs.

Of course, many predict this trend will eventually switch direction, as workers begin to replenish their retirement accounts. (Let’s hope they’re right.) But for the time being, the latest data indicate we aren’t there yet.