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The changing face of mature workers in Alberta

The changing face of mature workers in Alberta

Posted on: 11/22/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Many of us were told we’d be golfing in the Bahamas or touring European castles once we turned 55 years old. But the reality in 2017 is that retirement is being pushed later and later. Nearly half of older Albertans are still in the workforce.

The participation rate for people aged 55 and above was 46.6 per cent in October, close to a record high. (The participation rate is calculated as the percentage of adults who are either working outside the home or looking for work.)

The graph below shows the last four decades of mature worker participation rates for both Alberta and Canada. Albertans of all ages tend to have higher participation rates, and this is true for mature workers as well. After gradually falling through the 70s and 80s, the participation rates for both Canadians and Albertans started to rise around the turn of the century.

There are a few reasons why more workers are remaining in the workplace after age 55. The primary one is that we are healthier, more active and more engaged in our careers. Many workers are simply not ready to quit working altogether.

The other reason, however, could be less positive. With the drop in interest rates and generally lower returns on retirement savings over the last decade, many workers may simply not have enough savings with which to retire. That keeps them punching the timeclock—even if they’d rather be on that golf course in the Bahamas.

Mature worker participation rates, graph

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