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Older Workers and Part-Time Employment

Summary of Publication

The US Census Bureau defines a part-time worker as someone who usually works 1 to 34 hours per week. Workers ages 65 and older are more likely to be working part time compared with workers ages 25 to 64. The highest percentages of both men and women ages 25 and older working part time are in the 65–74 and 75 and older age categories. Among all age groups, women are more likely than men to work part time.

The reasons for working part time differ by age. The most common reasons workers ages 65 and older work part time are retirement from full-time employment and/or the Social Security earnings limit. Other reasons for working part time are more common among those ages 25–49 and 50–64. These include caregiving responsibilities such as child care or caring for adult family members, a workweek of less than 35 hours, and economic reasons, such as unfavorable labor market conditions and/or the inability to find full-time work.