According to a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, nearly four-in-ten adults who are working past the median retirement age of 62 say they have delayed their retirement because of the recession; among workers ages 50 to 61, fully 63% say they might have to push back their expected retirement date because of current economic conditions. These survey findings are consistent with a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data that show that the labor force participation rate of older adults, which declined from 1950 until the middle of the 1980s, has been rising ever since. This trend has accelerated during this decade, especially in the current recession. At the other end of the age spectrum, census data show that in the current decade, a rising share of Americans ages 16 to 24 are in school and a declining share are in the labor force — 57% today versus 66% in 2000. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.