Older Americans Working More, Retiring Less

By the Carsey Institute

June 1, 2010


The percentage of older Americans — those age 65 and above — has been on the rise since the early 1990s. This brief examines workforce trends for this population by gender, education level, marital status, and rural versus urban settings.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

A growing group: America's older workers

The percentage of older Americans in the labor force has grown steadily since 1995. While most working older Americans have part-time/ or easonal jobs, more and more are working full-time, year-round jobs.

Findings & Stats

Older Americans Work Education

Education Factor

The more education a person has, the more likely they are to work past age 65.


Female Workers

College educated women represent the fastest-growing segment of the over-65 workforce — up 22% from 1995 to 2009.

Marital status

Marital Status Matters

More than one in four older women who are divorced or separated are still working — a significantly higher rate than married, never married and widowed women. Men show few differences by marital status.

Statements & Quotations