The Impact of Aging Baby Boomers on Labor Force Participation

Publication Date: February 2014

Publisher: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Author(s): Alicia H. Munnell

Research Area: Labor; Population and demographics

Keywords: Older workers

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The brief’s key findings are:

Older people have lower labor force participation rates than younger adults, so aging baby boomers are pushing down overall participation.

This aging effect accounts for more than 40 percent of the decline since the onset of the Great Recession.

An aging population also lowers unemployment slightly because older individuals who remain in the labor force are more likely to have a job.

The aging trend will continue for the rest of the decade and will show up in monthly labor force statistics.