request our brochure

Today’s older workforce is different. Here’s why

April 29, 2024

Although some members of Generation X are approaching retirement age and all the Baby Boomers will arrive before 2030, more and more workers are still in the workforce. This is the finding of a recent report released by the Pew Research Center, which shows that one in five Americans aged 65 or older was employed this year, almost double the percentage of this age group working in 1987.

In addition to greater presence and higher salaries, today’s older workers are different from the older workers of the past in other important respects:

  • They’re working more hours, on average, than in previous decades. 

Today, 62% of older workers are working full time, compared with 47% in 1987.

  • They’re more likely to have a four-year college degree than in the past.

Some 44% of older workers today have a bachelor’s degree or more education, compared with 18% in 1987. That puts them about on par with workers ages 25 to 64.

  • They’re more likely than in previous decades to be receiving employer-provided benefits such as pension plans and health insurance.

The same does not hold true for younger workers, whose access to these employer-provided benefits has decreased in recent decades. 

Gender, race and the older workforce

Beside, the study shows that the demographic makeup of the U.S. workforce overall has changed substantially in recent decades, and those changes reflect broader societal shifts (more women entering the labor force and going to college, for instance). Others are tied to the changing racial and ethnic makeup of the country. These trends can be also seen across the older and younger workforces.

Source: Pew Research Center