Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.
The traditional retirement age of 65 is not a universal benchmark, especially for many older workers who remain in the workforce beyond that age. The Social Security Agency has set the full retirement age at 67 for workers born in 1960 or later. In addition, the United States Labor Statistics Office estimates that 33.2% of workers between the ages of 65 and 74 and 11.8% of those aged 75 and older will still be working in 2029. With this in mind, SmartAsset identified and ranked the cities where seniors will increasingly remain in the workforce for 2021.
To do this, we looked at the employment rates of the 100 largest cities in the United States in 2014, 2018, and 2019 to determine the rate of change. For more information on our data sources and how we put all of the information together to create our final rankings, see the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAsset’s second study to look at where seniors stay in the workforce. The 2020 version can be found here.
1. Paradise, NV
Paradise tops this study and recorded the second largest change in the labor force participation of older workers. It rose 6.3% in one year and 7% in five years. The labor force participation of older people in this city was 24.1% in 2019.
2. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans ranks second with the highest five-year change in employment rate (7.5%). The rate also increased 5.9% in one year, the fourth highest in this study.
3. Tucson, AZ
The employment rate of older workers in Tucson rose 6.7% in five years to 20.6% in 2019, the third highest increase in five years in this study. The city also grew 6.1% in a year, ranking third on this metric as well.
4. Fort Lauderdale, FL
The employment rate of older workers in Fort Lauderdale rose 6.4% from 18.6% in 2014 to 25% in 2019, the fourth-highest increase in five years in this study. The city also saw its eleventh-highest increase in a year, at 4.3%.
5. Port St. Lucie, FL
The labor force participation rate of senior citizens in Port St. Lucie increased by 6.2% between 2015 and 2019. The rate also increased by 2.6% in one year, the 18th highest increase for this metric.
6. Buffalo, NY
Buffalo’s labor force participation rate rose 4.3% from 14.8% in 2014 to 19.2% in 2019. However, the city’s largest increase was between 2018 and 2019 (4.4%), the 10th largest change on the list for a year.
7. Virginia Beach, VA
The labor force participation of older workers in Virginia Beach increased 5.4% between 2014 and 2019. This is the seventh-highest increase in five years in this study. The one-year change from 2018 to 2019 was 2.6% and took 19th place.
8. Boise, ID
The senior employment rate in Boise was 20.6% in 2019. This is a jump of 3.7% since 2014, the 21st highest five-year change in this study. The rate also increased by 5.2% from 2018 to 2019, the sixth highest increase in a year.
9. Pittsburgh, PA (tie)
The labor force participation of older workers in Pittsburgh increased 4.7% between 2014 and 2019. This is the eleventh highest increase over a five-year period. With a growth of 3% since 2018, the steel city also recorded the 17th highest change in a year.
9. Mobile, AL (tie)
Mobile’s participation rate increased 4.5% between 2014 and 2019, the twelfth-highest change in this study. The rate also increased 3.1% in one year, the 16th highest rate for this metric in the study.
Data and methodology
To evaluate the cities where seniors remain on the workforce, SmartAsset analyzed data from the 100 cities in the country with the largest senior population. In particular, we looked at the following two factors:
- Change in the labor force participation of older workers between 2014 and 2019. The data relate to residents aged 65 and over and come from the 2014 and 2019 annual American community surveys by the Census Bureau.
- Change in the labor force participation of older workers between 2018 and 2019. The data relate to residents aged 65 and over and come from the 2018 and 2019 annual American community surveys by the Census Bureau.
We ranked each city based on its increase from 2014 to 2019 and based on its increase from 2018 to 2019. We then determined the average ranking of each city using the two metrics. Based on these average values, we have created a final ranking. The city with the highest average rank received an index rating of 100 and the lowest an index rating of 0.
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