The work force is getting older, according to a recent nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends: Older workers are choosing to remain in the work force longer, while younger people are delaying employment.
This trend, which began 20 years ago, has intensified during the recession and is expected to continue. While the current economy impacts decisions, older workers also identified psychological and social factors.
The survey found that 54 percent of workers ages 65 and older stated that the main reason they work is because they want to. Only 17 percent cited their paycheck as the primary reason.
The decline of young people entering the work force can be attributed to two causes, according to the survey. First, the belief that a person needs a college education to get ahead in life has increased to approximately 73 percent of the population, up from 49 percent in 1978. Second, young adults (like all adults) are dealing with the impact of the recession, and some may have dropped out of the labor market because of this initial discouragement.