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Denver Business Journal | The 4-generation Workforce

Aug 30, 2017

Baby boomer Karen Larsen used to be afraid to talk about her grandson at work because it would draw attention to her age. Now, she has now found an encore career where her years of experience as a chief marketing officer are wildly sought after.

Baby boomers — usually defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, ages 53 to 71 — are staying in the workforce longer than previous generations.

The AARP says there are three generations in the workplace working side by side, with a fourth generation — known as the Centennials or Generation Z, born in 1996 and later — making its debut into the workforce.

Gone are the days when people in the workforce got their gold watch and waved goodbye to the team when they turned 65, the official retirement age when benefits were available. Now, the full benefit age is 66 for people born in 1943 to 1954 and will gradually will rise to age 67.

In Colorado in 1997, there were 186,614 people age 55 and older who reported themselves as employed, or 9 percent of the total working population. In 2016, that number climbed to 544,509 people or 22 percent of the total working population — making it the largest gain of any age group.

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