WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 2 — Today’s seniors are stronger than ever. That’s not wishful thinking, it’s a fact with substantial proof. For one thing, the senior citizen segment of the U.S. work force has been expanding rapidly for some time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To be more specific, BLS data shows that the 55-plus segment of the U.S. labor force stood at 11.6% in 1993 and by 2024 that number will grow to nearly 25%.
“What’s more striking is that the Bureau expects that men and women 65 to 75 years of age and older are leading the pack of seniors who want to keep working. In fact, the Census Bureau reported not long ago that as many as five percent of Americans in the 85 and up age range have jobs,” says Rebecca Weber, CEO of the senior advocacy organization, the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].
Not so surprising, she adds, considering that the country’s 90-plus population has tripled over the past 30 years and will grow to more than 7.6 million nonagenarians by the year 2050.
One such member of the U.S. work force is actor William Shatner who turned 90 just last week. He’s still working and doesn’t seem likely to retire anytime soon. Shatner has a new movie coming out soon. It’s called Senior Moment
and features a retired NASA test pilot. The Chicago Sun Times called it “geriatric rom-com.”
Shatner is not ready to go gently into the night, as he told Entertainment Tonight in a recent interview, “I’d like to be around when the science fiction of today becomes science fact.”
AMAC CEO Weber explains that Shatner is not very different from any of the new breed of busy old timers. “Consider his schedule. He recently cut two albums, he launched a new podcast, shot a new show, The Unexplained, for the History Channel and is out there plugging his new movie, despite the limitations imposed during the pandemic.”
But Weber notes that the Star Trek hero, James Tiberius Kirk, is not the only old timer who is keeping his “chin up” while riding out the COVID pandemic; senior citizens in general are showing the world what resilience is all about.
She cites two studies that both came to the same conclusion: the elderly participants were able to remain in a good mood despite the threat of the pandemic, according to the findings of one of the studies. The other proved that older age was associated with less concern about the threat of COVID and better emotional well-being.
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