Yass! Americans age 55 and older snagged about half of jobs created last year. While we make up barely a quarter of the population, we took 49 percent of the 2.9 million newly available work opportunities. These encouraging numbers about the aging workforce were crunched by research firm TLRanalytics using the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
The Numbers on Our Aging Workforce
Let’s take a closer look:
- Midlifers have the stamina and skills: “Those 55 and older also tend to be healthier and better educated than people their age were in the past,” said Philippa Dunne, an analyst with TLRanalytics. “If they’re not in manual labor, they’re able to work longer.”
- Dunne noted that 40 percent of U.S. workers in this age group are in management or professional positions and are especially valuable in these roles. Those of us who are age 55 and older provide a vital link in the chain of employment: We can guide and train up younger—and lower-paid—staffers, which is vital to a business functioning smoothly.
- Employees of our age bring another pretty great bonus benefit. Dunne noted that workers who are age 65 and older qualify for Medicare. This can make us especially enticing hires as our health insurance costs—a huge part of employee compensation—may already be paid for.
The oldest workers’ share of the labor force is growing the fastest.
Dunne believes that midlife workers will continue to be a hot commodity in the job market this year and beyond. “The oldest workers’ share of the labor force is growing the fastest,” she commented. According to a report in USA Today, 39.2 percent of people 55 and older were working in December 2018, the highest level since 1961. We’re hoping the old saying that “There’s no substitute for experience” continues to be recognized and elevated in our culture and more opportunities unfold. It’s about time!