Before COVID-19, the labor force participation rate among workers in the second half of life had been on the rise for several decades. Almost 20 percent of those 65 to 69 worked in 1987 and before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 33 percent did. More than a quarter of new entrepreneurs in the years before the pandemic was in the 55 to 64 age bracket, up from nearly 15 percent in 1997.
Yet even in pre-pandemic 2019, when nearly 25% of the workforce was 55 and older, roughly 2.5 million people in that age group would have liked to be working but weren't — largely due to widespread ageism and age discrimination. With COVID-19, the situation for older workers became even more difficult.
More adults ages 65 years and older left the labor force in 2020 than in any year since the US started tracking such information in 1948. Others in the second half of life pushed back their retirement date and some embraced the shift to remote work and found new venture opportunities springing up due to the pandemic.
Chris will sort through what we know about the current job market and small business opportunities for experienced workers in the post-pandemic economy.