More Canadians aged 60 and over are staying in the workforce, with 80 per cent in that age group reporting work as their primary activity, according to data from Statistics Canada.
Another 10 per cent said they work at some point but it’s not their primary focus, while less than 10 per cent said they don’t work but want to.
Overall, Canadians are working longer, with an average retirement age of 64 in 2017, nearly three years longer than the average in the late 1990s. Correspondingly, the labour force participation rate for Canadians aged 60 and older has increased to 26 per cent in 2017 from 14 per cent in 1997.
Among older workers, more than half (59 per cent) said kept working out of necessity, with a fairly even split between men and women. For Canadians aged 70 and older who said they work or want to, 28 per cent also cited necessity.
Prince Edward Islanders (53 per cent) aged 60 or over were the most likely to work or want to work, compared to Saskatchewan residents (45 per cent), who were the least likely. Notably, there wasn’t a disproportionate number of people aged 60 or over in major metropolitan areas reporting they have to work out of necessity.
Remaining in the workplace because of necessity also varied by sector. Those working in agriculture, professional, scientific or technical services were most likely to do so by choice, whereas those in transportation and warehousing, construction, business and other support services were the most likely to continue working by necessity.