In 2012, labor statistics show the economy added 2.4 million jobs, unemployment rate fell significantly and labor market outcomes improved for both younger and older workers, although older unemployed adults took longer to find work.
"This brief provides annual and monthly labor force statistics on older Americans, a growing segment of the workforce. Drawing on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Current Population Survey, it shows labor force participation rates (the share of the noninstitutionalized civilian population that is employed or looking for work), unemployment rates (the share of the labor force that is on layoff or out of work but looking for work), employment -to-population ratios (the share of the noninstitutionalized civilian population that is employed), and the share of unemployed workers who have been out of work for more than six months" (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Outcomes are generally reported for men and women ages 55 and older and 62 and older, with breakdowns at ages 62 to 64, 65 to 69,and 70 and older, and compared with those at younger ages. A detailed analysis of these statistics are provided on pages 1 and 2. Below are a number of highlights: "- The labor force participation rate at ages 55 and older rose three-tenths of a point last year to 40.5 percent. It has not changed much since 2009 .... However, participation fell in 2012 for Americans ages 16 and older, continuing a trend since 2007. This overall decline resulted partly from population aging, as many baby boomers retired from the labor force over the past five years. However, many prime-age workers stopped looking for jobs and dropped out of the labor force because they could not find employment. - The overall average monthly unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, the lowest rate since 2008. The unemployment rate also declined substantially in 2012 for workers ages 62 and older. - The employment-to-population ratio is arguably the single most important labor force indicator, showing the share of Americans who are working. The average annual ratio increased—to 38.4 percent— for adults ages 55 and older in 2012. It remained higher last year than in 2007, reflecting strong growth in labor force participation for older adults since the Great Recession began. The annual employment-to-population ratio rose two-tenths of a point last year at ages 16 and older, the first increase since the recession began, but remained substantially below the 2007 average" (p.1). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)