Older workers grow stronger in labor market

Better health and longer life spans, paired with a precarious econo­my, mean older Americans (55+) will represent most of the growth in the U.S. job market for the next few years, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2009, 40 percent of Americans 55 or older were working or looking for work, the highest percentage since 1961—while workers ages 16 to 24 represented 57 percent of the workforce, down from 66 percent in 2000.

But it’s not all about panic caused by self-destructing retirement accounts, Pew notes: Older workers are generally happier, and stay employed more for social reasons than financial pressures.

Approximately 54 percent of employees 65 and older describe themselves as “completely” satisfied with their jobs, whereas only 29 percent of the 18–64 age group said the same.

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