Employment Is on the Rise Among Elderly (65+) and Non-White Populations
Total employment reached 155.8 million in 2018, an increase of 6.7% since 2007, before the recession. Employment as a percent of total population (the civilian, noninstitutional population used in employment figures) reached 60.4% in 2018, not quite reaching its pre-recession high of 63.1% in 2006. The working-age (16-64 years old) employment rate is 70.7%, below its peak of 74.1% in 2000 (Fig. 40).
As the elderly population grew from 11% of the population to 16%, the elderly have also become a larger part of the employed population (doubling from 3.0% of employed individuals in 1980 to 6.2% in 2018). Employment among this group reached 18.9% in 2018 and did not fall during the recession as it did with the remainder of the population.
The gaps in employment between genders, races, and ethnicities are increasingly getting smaller (Fig. 43). Women have increasingly entered the workforce, bringing the genders closer to equal employment, although an 11 percentage point gap still exists (Fig. 41). The employment rates between the White and Black populations reached its smallest gap yet in 2018 (Fig. 42).