What Percentage of Baby Boomers Are in the Workforce?

February 4, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Men | Women

Gallup-Baby-Boomers-Workforce-Participation-by-Age-Feb2015There has been a lot of talk about shifts in the labor force once Baby Boomers (50-68) exit the workplace. So how many are still employed in some capacity or seeking employment? According to survey results from Gallup, almost 8 in 10 of the youngest Baby Boomers (50-51) are working full-time, part-time or seeking work, a figure which declines to roughly one-third among the generation’s oldest (67-68). The cross-over age appears to be 63: half of Baby Boomers of that age remain in the workforce, while only a minority of the cohort above that age participate.

There are some other interesting takeaways from the survey:

  • Workforce participation among the oldest Baby Boomers (60-68) didn’t measurably change between 2010 and 2014, although Gallup notes that its other data suggests that “Americans have been retiring at an older age than they did years or generations ago;”
  • The share of Boomers working part-time rises from 10% among the youngest Boomers to 15% among the oldest, suggesting that a small group of those who leave full-time work don’t exit the workforce but move into part-time work instead; and
  • Men are more likely than women to be in the workforce, with this participation rate gap remarkably consistent across all ages, ranging from 10-15 percentage points.

For data and insights concerning the best ways to advertise to this large and influential cohort, see the MarketingCharts Debrief, Advertising to Baby Boomers: The Why and How.

About the Data: Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 134,168 adults, aged 50 to 68, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

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