The Impact of Aging Baby Boomers on Labor Force Participation

Alicia H. Munnell

IB#14-4

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Older people have lower labor force participation rates than younger adults, so aging baby boomers are pushing down overall participation.
  • This aging effect accounts for more than 40 percent of the decline since the onset of the Great Recession.
  • An aging population also lowers unemployment slightly because older individuals who remain in the labor force are more likely to have a job.
  • The aging trend will continue for the rest of the decade and will show up in monthly labor force statistics.