SBA Report: Senior Self-Employment on the Rise in the U.S.

Senior self-employment is on the rise in the United States, according to a report issued from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. The Ascent of the Senior Entrepreneur by Daniel Wilmoth, Ph.D., focuses on the growing senior population and their involvement in the entrepreneurial sector of the U.S. economy.

“As the baby boomer generation gets older, we will see more and more Americans reaching retirement age,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Darryl L. DePriest.  “Today’s report highlights how these seniors are choosing to stay in the workforce, and in many cases, work for themselves in the later years of their lives.”

Top points from the report include:

  • Self-employment is increasing among seniors.
  • The percentage of individuals age 62 and over who were self-employed increased from 4.2 percent in 1988 to 5.4 percent in 2015.
  • Unlike seniors, the percentage of individuals under the age of 62 who were self-employed decreased from 7.2 percent in 1988 to 6.0 percent in 2015.

“Entrepreneurship among seniors will become increasingly important in coming decades as the proportion of the population in that age group continues to grow,” said SBA Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet, who oversees the agency’s programs and services for all of New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Life expectancy at higher ages has been increasing, opening the door for more seniors to consider entrepreneurship. The first members of the large baby boomer generation turned 62 in 2008, and the last will not turn 62 until 2026.”

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