Older women are reshaping the American economy

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

American women, living longer and earning less than their male counterparts, are transforming the U.S. economy by working longer than any generation before them. While every single category of U.S. worker, by gender and age, has shrunk or remained the same since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of “older working women” has increased, which Richard Johnson of the Urban Institute calls “one of the most stunning developments that we’ve seen in the labor market over the last 50 years.”

According to the Labor Department, one in seven women work past the age of 65, compared to one in 12 in 1992, and that number will grow to one in five (or 6.3 million women) by 2024. Paul Magnus, who works for an Ohio non-profit that helps older people find jobs says the increase can be attributed to the fact that people are living longer and afraid they will outlive their savings. The Wall Street Journal points out that as more women have joined the workforce over the last five decades, they are now faced with the same economic situation as other workers, and older women who were forced out of their jobs in the latest recession were hit particularly hard — and while older Americans are overall better off financially, they have more debt than past generations.

Read the full story at the The Wall Street Journal.

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