The baby-boom generation to remain in the labor force

December 31, 2009

The baby-boom generation—those born between 1946 and 1964—is expected to remain in the labor force longer than previous generations.

Percent change in labor force by age, projected 2008-18
[Chart data]

As this group ages, the number of people in the labor force aged 55 to 64 is expected to grow by 33 percent between 2008 and 2018, and the number of people aged 65 and older is projected to grow by 78 percent. The numbers of 45- to 54-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds are expected to shrink as baby boomers age and shift into older groups.

Total labor force growth is expected to average about 8 percent during the projections decade.

Thanks to advances in medicine, people now enjoy better health as they age and, as a result, are able to remain in the labor force longer than workers in previous generations did. A variety of economic factors—an increase in the Social Security eligibility age, for example—create incentives for people to keep working. Because of such factors, the number of people in the labor force aged 65 and older is expected to grow about 10 times faster than the total labor force.

These projections are from the Employment Projections program. To learn more, see "Labor Force” in the Winter 2009–10 issue of the Occupational Outlook Quarterly (HTML) (PDF).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, The baby-boom generation to remain in the labor force on the Internet at (visited September 28, 2016).


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