Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Celebrating the Graying of America

Thanks to JFK, with a name revision by Jimmy Carter, we are only two months away from Older Americans month. While this blog so far has focused mostly on the financial crisis, another segment of my job is Social Security and pension reform.

This morning the Census Bureau released its Facts for Features for Older Americans month. Of interest to pension reformers, the Census Bureau expects employment among those over 65 to grow from 5.8 million in 2007 to 10.1 million in 2016. This is an increase of almost 84 percent. Labor force projections from the Statistical Abstract (Table 568) predict that the growth will be split almost evenly between men and women. This could be good news as the number of people over 65 is only expected to grow by 24 percent by 2015, from 37.9 million in 2007 to 46.8 million (Statistical Abstract Table 10).

As the population shifts toward a more square age pyramid this increase in older age working population could shift expectations about Social Security and allow for reforms. If a greater share of older people retain wages and see Social Security as a supplement rather than their whole income the ability, benefit reductions may be more palatable.

No comments: