Many people are working past traditional retirement age to accumulate more money for a potentially longer retirement than in previous generations. In 2018, almost 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older were employed or actively looking for work.

While there may be positive benefits for older workers, the research is mixed on how this phenomenon may impact the economy. Some midcareer employees are frustrated because when senior managers and executives delay retirement, there are fewer promotion opportunities available. Consequently, millennials also suffer from a crowded field in the middle rungs of the corporate ladder.

On the other hand, the more seniors work, the more they spend.

Because consumer spending is a key driver for economic growth, it generally helps the economy to have more people in the workforce. Spending leads to greater demand for goods and services, which therefore leads to more jobs.


1 Andrew Soergel. AP. June 6, 2019. “Poll: Some younger workers view aging workforce negatively.” Accessed July 30, 2019.

2 Teresa Ghilarducci. Forbes. Jan. 11, 2019. “37% Of Bosses Say Older Workers Clog Promotions For Cheaper Younger Workers.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2019.

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