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More older Americans remain on the job

More than 4 in 10 Americans aged 55 and over were still employed in 2011. That’s their highest workforce participation rate since 1960.

More older Americans remain on the job

More Americans are holding down jobs into their older years. 40.2 percent of people 55 and older remained in the workforce in 2011. That’s their highest participation rate since 1960.

In 1990 just 30.1 percent of Americans 55 and up were working – the lowest percentage on record. The upward trend since is fueled by improved health, longer life expectancy and more women in the workplace as well as economic necessity. It kept rising during the recession, despite higher levels of unemployment and longer spells of joblessness among older workers.

Government statisticians project 43 percent of Americans 55 and up will still be working in 2020.

Check out our infographic for more on older Americans at work. See “What Do Others Say?” for more views, then add to the discussion. What qualities do older workers bring to the workplace? Do you plan to work longer than you have to?

What do others say?

  • BusinessWeek: BusinessWeek: “It’s time to see older workers as an asset” More

  • Boston College: Boston College Center on Aging & Work: Workplace Flexbility: “Older workers: What keeps them working?” More

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Are you ready for the new older workplace? Aging baby boomers & the evolving role of employers” More

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