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Mature Workers Fact Sheet

Overview

By 2019, 25 percent of the U.S. labor force will be 55 or older. The National Council on Aging produced this fact sheet to provide an overview of mature workers in today’s workforce. With more than 27 million Americans aged 55 or older working in 2009, the mature workforce is as large as it has ever been.

Key Points

This fact sheet provides detailed statistical information on mature workers in the job force. In addition to the rising number of employed older Americans, the unemployment figures for the 55 and older age group are also at an all-time high.

Other fact sheet highlights include:

  1. Weekly earnings vary significantly by age and gender, even among older workers. Men in the 55-64 age group earned $953 per week, while women aged 65+ earned $534 per week.
  2. Mature workers make up more than 14 percent of the U.S. unemployment population, with older workers staying unemployed an average of three months longer than younger workers.
  3. Nearly two-thirds of unemployed older men had careers in construction, manufacturing, trade or professional services, while two-thirds of unemployed older women came from trade, professional and business services, education, health care, or manufacturing.
  4. Another growing trend nationwide is the number of discouraged mature workers, individuals not in the workforce because they believe they can’t find a job. In 2010, discouraged workers represented 20 percent of older persons not in the workforce.

How to Use

As the population continues to age, the situation facing mature workers is constantly changing. Reviewing this fact sheet allows officials nationwide to better understand the state of the mature workforce. Recognizing the employment trends and attitudes of older workers also helps local organizations and advocacy groups provide support to these individuals.

View full report: Mature Workers Fact Sheet (PDF – 128 KB)