More 55+ Workers, And More Working Part-Time

More Americans are continuing to work after reaching age 55, and in recent years older workers have increasingly held part-time jobs. That’s according to an analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

In 2008, 39.4 percent of workers were 55 or older, up from 29.4 percent in 1993. In addition, 30.7 percent of workers fell in the 65-to-69 bracket in 2006, compared to 18.4 percent in 1985. But the number of older workers employed full-time started to drop when the recession hit in 2008.

“These trends mark a significant change in behavior for individuals in these age groups,” said Craig Copeland, EBRI senior research associate and author of the study, in a press release. “[The trends] are likely driven by their need to obtain affordable employment-based health insurance (as opposed to unaffordable or unavailable coverage in the individual market for those not Medicare eligible) and the need to continue to accumulate savings in employment-based defined contribution retirement plans (principally 401(k)-type plans).”

For more, read EBRI’s full report (PDF).