Publication Date

September 2005


As the members of the “baby boom” generation — people born between 1946 and 1964 — approach retirement, the demographic profile of the U.S. workforce will undergo a substantial shift: a large number of older workers will be joined by relatively few new entrants to the labor force. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, while the number of people between the ages of 55 and 64 will grow by about 11 million between 2005 and 2025, the number of people who are 25 to 54 years old will grow by only 5 million. This trend could affect economic growth because labor force participation begins to fall after age 55. In 2004, 91% of men ages 25 to 54 and 75% of women in this age group participated in the labor force. In contrast, just 69% of men ages 55 to 64 and 56% of women ages 55 to 64 were either working or looking for work in 2004.


Suggested Citation
Purcell, P. (2005). Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends. (CRS Report RL30629) Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.