The work force participation rates for workers over the age of 55 has been steadily increasing since the mid-nineties. 

 

According to data from Calculated Risk, the percentage of workers over the age of 55 participating in the work force was at 40.2% in August.  During the same period as the older workers percentage has been increasing, the percentage of younger workers has been declining.  In early 2009, the participation rate for workers 16 to 19 fell below the percentage of those over 55, and stands at 34.5% as of August.  Additionally, the rate for workers aged 20 to 24 fell to 70.5% down from 71.5% from t

Looking specifically at the over 55 age group, all segments have trended upward, although there has been some recent flattening.  The 65 to 69 age group had seen the largest increases over time and spiked in early 2011, before settling back down.  The 70 to 74 group has also been steadily increasing, nearing 20%.

The data highlights the aspects of an aging work force with older works remaining longer and younger workers waiting longer to participate in the work force, or facing limited job opportunities.