The percentage of Americans near or in retirement years who are still working remains dramatically higher than before the 2008 economic crisis, particularly women workers 55 to 64 years old, according to a recent analysis of U.S. census data by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
Among women age 55 and older, the percentage remaining in the labor force grew from 22.8% in 1993 to 35.1% in 2010, its highest level ever, and remained there for 2011, according to the EBRI report, Labor-force Participation Rates of the Population Age 55 and Older 2011: After the Economic Downturn.
The total percentage of civilian non-institutionalized Americans near or at retirement age has risen steadily since 1993, when it stood a 29.4 %, reaching a high of 40.2%, where it remained for 2011.
The percentage of men 55 and older remaining in the workforce grew by 2010 to 46.3%, where it stayed out for 2011.
Some older workers are remaining in the workforce because they want to remain involved, but many work because they need to, according to EBRI, a nonprofit research organization.
"This upward trend is not surprising and is likely to continue," said Craig Copeland, author of the report. "Many workers continue to need access to employment-based health insurance, as well as more earning years to save for retirement."
For all racial and ethnic groups that were examined, labor-force participation among older workers was higher in 2011 than it was in the middle 1990s, with whites having the highest rate and Hispanic Americans the lowest, the report said.
Older Americans with a college education or more were more likely to be working than those without.