Study Labour Force
The impact of aging on labour market participation rates
The labour force participation rate of Canadians aged 55 and older reached 38% in 2016, up from 24% in 1996 and the highest rate for this age group since the collection of comparable statistics in 1976.
Over this period, the participation rate for women aged 55 and older rose from 17% to 32%, while for men in the same age group it rose from 32% to 44%.
The increase was also widespread across age groups, including senior Canadians aged 65 and older, and across all categories of educational attainment.
For instance, the participation rate more than doubled among those aged 65 and olderfrom 6% in 1996 to 14% in 2016.
While the participation rate of older Canadians increased, the overall participation ratethat of the population aged 15 and olderdecreased over the past 10 years.
This is because older Canadians, who are less active in the labour market than younger age groups, account for a growing portion of the working age population.
Canadians aged 55 and older accounted for a record 36% of the working age population in 2016. Based on population projections, this proportion is expected to increase to 40% by 2026.
These results come from a new study "The impact of aging on labour market participation rates", based on Labour Force Survey data.
The study examines the extent to which population aging is putting downward pressure on the overall participation rate. It also explores the reasons behind the increase in the labour market participation rates of men and women aged 55 and older, which have been rising since 1996.
With the release of additional census data later this year, more information will be available on the work activity and detailed occupations of working seniors.