More seniors than ever are remaining employed well after hitting retirement age. Especially for those over 75, the labor force participation rate has nearly doubled over the last 20 years. Occupations requiring very specific trade skills, such as embalmers and leather repairmen, employ the largest percentage of seniors. One wonders whether the industries themselves will fail to exist in their current form after they retire.
Which occupations are seniors keeping alive?
Next time you are in need of a shoe or bag repair, remember that nearly one-third of footwear and leather goods repairs workers are older than 65. Once these individuals decide to retire, the leather repair industry will likely feel the impact. Another important occupation, which will always be in demand but may suffer from an aging workforce, are funeral home directors. Seniors currently make up 28% of this industry, but some specializations are even greater; like how 47% of those trained as embalmers and funeral attendants are past retirement age.
|Rank||Industry||Percent of seniors working|
|1||Footwear and leather goods repair||28.6%|
|2||Funeral homes, and cemeteries and crematories||27.9%|
|3||Animal production and aquaculture||19.8%|
|4||Gift, novelty, and souvenir shops||18.6%|
|6||Personal and household goods repair and maintenance||16.7%|
|7||Used merchandise stores||16.6%|
Is there geographical significance to where seniors continue to work?
All located along the east coast, Washington, D.C., Bridgeport and Boston ranked as the top three cities with nearly a quarter of all seniors still working.
Texas seniors were also found to stay in the workforce well after retirement age, with Austin, Dallas and Houston all ranking within the top 15 cities with the highest percentage of working seniors.
Where are the most seniors staying in the workforce?
|Metro area||Percent of seniors working||65+ HHI||Annual 65+ housing cost||Bachelor's degree or higher 65+|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||21.1%||$70,483||$15,972||42.2%|
|San Francisco, California||20.0%||$83,216||$30,324||36.1%|
Washington, D.C. ranks #1 for working seniors
One-quarter of Washington, D.C.’s seniors are still employed. The fact that 39% of legislatures are over the age of 65 may help explain why the U.S. capitol holds this high ranking. The only professions with more working seniors are the aforementioned embalmers and funeral attendants, as well as textile knitting and weaving machine operators.
Areas with the fewest working seniors
It should come as little surprise that traditionally well-known retirement communities have low populations of senior workers. Places like Augusta, Georgia; Palm Bay, Florida; and Deltona, Florida ranked lowest in ValuePenguin’s analysis, with as few as 12% of those residents 65+ employed.
|Metro area||Percent of seniors working|
|Palm Bay, Florida||12.4%|
Why do seniors delay retirement?
Data was analyzed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 Current Population Survey in conjunction with U.S. Census Bureau 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (Population 65 years and over in the United States). ValuePenguin divided the number of workers aged 65 or over in an industry or occupation by the total number of workers in that industry or occupation. Researchers conducted the analysis on the most specific industries and occupations for which data is available. To determine the places with the largest share of working seniors, researchers examined the number of employed people aged 65 or over by the total population aged 65 or over, across the 100 largest cities.