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Projected job growth in occupations with large shares of older workers

| May 2019

Do people today stop working when they turn 55? Some do—but not all.

In March 2019, about 40 percent of people ages 55 and older were working or actively looking for work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those who were working were employed in a variety of occupations. BLS data show which of those occupations are expected to add jobs in the coming years.

The chart shows selected occupations that have more than one-third of workers ages 55 and older in which BLS projects average to much faster than average employment growth over the decade for workers of all ages. Workers ages 55 and older made up 48 percent of clergy—the largest share among the occupations shown.

Nearly all of the occupations shown in the chart had a median wage above the $38,640 median for all occupations in 2018. Technical writers had the highest wage, $71,850, of the occupations shown.

Wage data exclude the self-employed, and self-employment is common in several of these occupations. For example, about 42 percent of all property, real estate, and community association managers were self-employed in 2016. Of the occupations shown in the chart, this occupation is projected to add the most jobs over the decade, about 32,600.

Data on shares of older workers are from the BLS Current Population Survey. Employment projections data, as well as wage and self-employment data, are for workers of all ages. For more information, see the BLS Occupational Projections Data. Read about hundreds of occupations, including those in the chart, in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "Projected job growth in occupations with large shares of older workers," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019.

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