Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Share Of Elderly Workers By Occupation: Bureau of Labor Statistics

From Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, February 2017, "Occupational choices of the elderly:"
From 1990 to 2010, the U.S. civilian labor force showed a substantial increase in average age. Over this 20-year period, the percentage of workers in the labor force ages 65 and older rose at an average annual rate of 3.4 percent, in contrast with a 0.9-percent average annual increase for those under 65. This difference was due partly to the difference in average annual population growth for the two age groups, 1.4 percent for the 65-and-older group and 1.1 percent for the under-65 group. But it was due largely to the increase in the labor force participation rate of the 65-and-older group: from 11.8 percent in 1990 to 17.4 percent in 2010. This increase contrasts with a slight decline in the labor force participation rate for those under 65: from 76.6 percent in 1990 to 73.9 percent in 2010. As a result, the percentage of older workers grew from 2.8 percent to 4.6 percent, even as their unemployment rate remained below that of younger workers. Similar increases for elderly workers are projected to continue at least through 2020. What impact does this aging of the labor have on the structure of occupations?
Table 1 {below] shows the share of workers from the elderly and 45–65 age groups in the major occupational groups. Among the occupational groups, the one with the greatest difference (both absolute and relative) in the share of workers from the two age groups is the food preparation and serving related group: 25.3 percent of the elderly work in this group, while only 3.1 percent of 45–65-year-olds do. Occupations in the group employ predominantly women, have a large share of part-time employment, and require relatively little education or strenuous activity. The group with the second-greatest absolute difference in the share of workers from the two age groups is management. Surprisingly, this occupational group has considerable part-time employment for the elderly (but not for younger workers).
Table 1. Shares of elderly (over 65) and 45–65-year-old workers, by occupational group
Occupational groupNumber of casesPercent share
45–65Over 6545–65Over 65
Business and financial operations1,2891394.93.9
Computer and mathematical sciences687362.61.0
Architecture and engineering525452.01.3
Life, physical, and social sciences256301.0.8
Community and social services493591.91.7
Education, training, and library1,6201846.25.2
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media435671.71.9
Healthcare practitioner and technical1,4391535.54.3
Healthcare support568592.21.7
Protective service471511.81.4
Food preparation and serving related8068963.125.3
Building, grounds cleaning, and maintenance1,2251104.73.1
Personal care and services7321302.83.7
Sales and related2,4803469.59.8
Office and administrative support3,32635012.79.9
Farming, fishing, and forestry19622.7.6
Construction and extraction1,338875.12.5
Installation, maintenance, and repair923593.51.7
Transportation and material moving1,7562036.75.7
Total civilian26,1533,537100.0100.0
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.
See original BLS article for additonal information about full-time and part-time employment of seniors.

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