For more than two decades, older Americans have opted to stay in the labor force longer, while younger Americans have reduced their labor force participation. Women are likely to continue working in their 60s. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the share of older working women has grown while the percentage of every other category of U.S. worker – by gender and age – has declined or remained flat. In 1992, one in 12 American women worked past age 65. Now, around one in seven do. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that number grow to almost one in five by 2024.
Idaho also has seen large increases in labor force participation for senior workers — 62 percent for men and 129 percent for women — while other workers’ participation declined or remained flat.
In 1992, one in 18 Idaho women worked past age 65. Now, around one in seven do — the same ratio as the nation.
With baby boomers in their 50s and 60s swelling the ranks of older workers and their labor force participation on the rise, Idaho workers 55 and over grew by 161 percent, from 64,300 in December 1995 to 167,500 in December 2015, according to the Current Population Survey, the monthly survey conducted by the Census Bureau to track unemployment in the U.S. Over the same period, Idaho’s labor force 25 to 54 years of age doubled from 145,200 to 296,100.