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July 20, 2007

Are older workers are hitting it big?

We are an aging society in a popular culture that emphasizes youth. But that doesn't mean that older workers have a tough time in the job market, says N.C. State University economist Mike Walden.

"In fact, more older workers, first of all, are staying in the workforce. Thirty percent of people age 65 to 70 are now either working or looking for work. This is up from 25 percent five years ago," says Dr. Walden, an economist with North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

"Plus -- this is a very interesting statistic -- ... older workers are actually getting the biggest pay raises. In the last five years, workers ages 55 to 65 got a 4 percent real pay raise –- that is, a raise above inflation. Those age 65 and up got a 3 percent real pay raise. And actually younger workers in all younger age groups got paid less," he reports.

"Now a big part of this, I think, is that many companies are now putting a premium on the experience that older workers have," he concludes. "So at least for now it's actually paying to be old."

Posted by deeshore at July 20, 2007 07:29 AM