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The boomer generation, living longer than their predecessors and the last of whom are only now reaching their mid-50s, are having a “seismic effect” on the workforce. (photo: Shutterstock)

Longer-lived boomers continue to make up the largest part of the labor force even as the cohort of young workers continues to grows, and the shifting proportions will create a dilemma for employers: how to provide benefits for two groups of employees widely separated in age and needs?

According to a brief from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the proportion of workers aged 55 and over is increasing. The rate of participation in the labor force for Americans aged 55 and older rose from 1991 to 2012, after which it leveled off—but the labor force participation for the oldest Americans–those 65 or older–had the biggest percentage increases since 1991, even after the after-2012 leveling off.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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