Older Australians working longer

Nearly a fifth of Australians aged 65 and over and working in 2006 were working ten years later, according to new analysis released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This reflects a doubling of the proportion of employed people who were older (65 years and over), between 2006 and 2016, from 2 per cent to 4 per cent of all employed people.

Data from the ABS’ Australian Longitudinal Census Dataset (ACLD) shows that almost three quarters of this group of older people who continued to work were male with around two thirds reducing the number of hours worked over the ten year period.

The analysis also found that older people continuing in the workforce were more likely to live in regional Australia, compared with other people their age, and more than a quarter of continuing older workers worked in the agricultural industry.

In comparison, the proportion of people under the age of 65 working in the agriculture industry over the same period of time was less than 3 per cent of the total workforce.

ABS Program Manager of Data Integration Operations, Michael Beahan, said:

“The ACLD allows us to develop unique insights from three Censuses going back to 2006.

“By exploring this longitudinal Census data, we can better understand the characteristics and transitions for people approaching retirement age, exploring changes in employment, living arrangements and geographic location.”

Over the next few weeks the ABS will publish further analysis using longitudinal data exploring topics including Australians who developed a profound or severe disability, and Australians moving from renting to home ownership.

Data users can create their own customised tables using the ACLD TableBuilder. Approved researchers can access detailed microdata in the ABS DataLab.

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