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Labor Force Participation Rate of People 65 Years and Older: 2008 American Community Survey

Report Number ACSBR/08-9
David J. Howard and Braedyn K. Woodring
Component ID: #ti150871213

Introduction

This report is one of a series produced to highlight results from the 2008 American Community Survey (ACS). The report series is designed to cover a variety of economic topics, such as poverty, occupation, home values, and labor force participation. This series provides information about the changing economic characteristics of the nation and states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The ACS also provides detailed estimates of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for congressional districts, counties, places, and other localities every year. A description of the ACS is provided in the text box “What Is the American Community Survey?”

This report presents data on the labor force participation rate of people aged 65 and older at the national and state levels based on the 2008 ACS. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau projections, the 65-and-older population is projected to increase by 79 percent from 2010 to 2030, representing 19 percent of the total population by 2030. Whether or not this population decides to participate in the labor force has important consequences for the nation, as the size of the labor force has a direct effect on the country’s ability to produce goods and services. Furthermore, changes in the number of people aged 65 and older who participate in the labor force would alter the pool of experienced workers available to employers and the number of people solely relying on income from savings and social security.

The data contained in this report are based on an ACS sample that was selected for interview in 2008 and are estimates of the actual figures that could have been obtained by interviewing the entire population using the same methodology. All comparisons presented in this report have taken sampling error into account and are significant at the 90 percent confidence level unless noted otherwise. Due to rounding, some details may not sum to totals. For information on sampling and estimation methods, confidentiality protection, and sampling and nonsampling errors, please see the “2008 ACS Accuracy of the Data” document located at <www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/tech_docs/accuracy/accuracy2008.pdf>.

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