Older workers delaying retirement

A 50-year-old worker in 2008 could expect to stay in the labour force 3.5 years longer than in the mid-1990s.

Ottawa (1 Nov. 2011) – According to new Statistics Canada data, older workers have been increasingly delaying their retirement since the mid-1990s. This is consistent with the increase in the employment rate of older Canadians that began about the same time.

In 2008, an employed 50-year-old had an expected additional 16 years at work. This is roughly 3.5 years longer than workers of the same age in the mid-1990s, who could expect to work 12.5 more years. The 3.5-year increase was the same for both men and women.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a marked trend toward early retirement prompted by high public-sector deficits and downsizing among private-sector organizations. However, since the mid-1990s, the tide appears to have turned.

From a low of 22% in 1996, the employment rate of individuals 55 and older climbed steadily to 34% in 2010. Their employment rate in 2010 was even higher than in 1976 when it stood at 30.2%.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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