What’s Working: Older Coloradans are returning to work, and inflation may be to blame

Tamara Chuang
The Colorado Sun
"Help Wanted" signs are a regular window decoration at many restaurants in Colorado, including this one at Peppino's Pizza in Carbondale.
John Stroud/Post Independent

The number of all workers in Colorado’s labor force fell in the first year of the pandemic, with notable declines among those 55 and older.

But just like the rest of the population, older workers are returning to work. 

A slightly larger percentage of people between ages 55 and 64 are part of the state’s labor force today, at 70.3% compared with 68.1% in 2019, according to the latest labor data. And while workers 65 and older aren’t back at the same pre-pandemic rate, their overall participation in the labor force is double what it was two decades ago. 

The growing number of older workers in Colorado aligns with the fact that the state’s population is getting older. We’ve known this was happening for decades as new residents moved in to raise a family or start a business. The state’s median age is now 37.5 as of last year. In 2010, it was 36.1, according to census data.

One group in particular is not just returning to work but growing faster than others: women. Particularly, women 55 and older, according to an analysis by Steven Byers, senior economist with Common Sense Institute, a conservative think tank in Greenwood Village.

Read the full story via the Colorado Sun.

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