Senior Recovery or Delayed Retirement?

A closer look at today’s BLS jobs report reveals that 30% of the job gains in the past two years (and 27% in the past year) have been due to increases in the employment of adults age 65, despite the fact that senior citizens represent less than 5% of the labor force.  In March 2012 there were one million more employed adults age 65 and above compared to March 2010.  Employment growth among seniors has been about nine times higher than for the rest of the adult population.  The rapid job growth for seniors is because: (i) we added 3 million seniors in the past two years, and (ii) older workers are delaying retirement.  The 2008 recession and sharp drop in home values reduced the wealth of many households.  It is likely that many workers who reached age 65 in the past two years have delayed their retirement in response to the decline in their net worth.

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