Vermont's elders and people with disabilities and people with mental conditions live in dignity and independence in settings they prefer and 2 more...less...

Vermont's seniors live with dignity and in settings they prefer

Vermonters with disabilities and elders live with dignity and in settings they prefer

Percentage of Vermonters age 65 and older participating in the labor force


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Story Behind the Curve

This population indicator shows the estimated labor force participation of all Vermonters over age 65. This employment rate is related to the state of the Vermont economy and labor force; retirement age and incentives in the Social Security system; work incentives and disincentives within public benefit programs; and the efforts of employment programs that serve older Vermonters.

People age 65 and over in Vermont represented approximately 14.6% of the population in 2010, but will represent 21.8% in 2020, and 29% in 2030*...almost a 100% increase in 20 years. In 2013 Vermont was tied with Pennsylvania for having the 4th highest percent of its population age 65 or older. ** In 2015 the share of Vermont jobs held by people age 65 and over rose to 7%, compared to 3.5% in 2005. Clearly, our state is getting older….and quickly. In 2014 Vermont tied with New Hampshire for being the second oldest state in the country with a median age of 42.6; in 2000 it was 37.7. Maine continues to be the oldest state, with a median age of 44.2. New England is the country’s oldest region with an overall median age of 40.3 in 2014, compared to 37.1 in 2000***.

We know that Vermont is aging faster than most of the other states. We also know that more Vermonters age 65 and over are staying in the labor force….or want to stay in the labor force. Vermont Joint Fiscal Office analyst Joyce Manchester recently wrote in a brief, ”People anticipate living longer and need to have enough income and assets to last throughout their longer retirement…..Second, the age at which full retirement benefits are available increased from 65 to 66, causing many older people to delay their claiming of Social Security benefits and stay in the workforce.”**** Other older people remain in the workforce because they are healthy and are able to work- and recognize the continued economic, social, and health benefits of remaining active in the workforce.


The key partners involved with facilitating the on-going employment and re-employment of older workers include the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and especially its Vocational Rehabilitation Division and its Employee Assistance Program, the Department of Labor, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and especially its Economic Development Department, the Department of Corrections, Department for Children and Families’ Supplemental Nutrition Program, the Agency of Education especially its Adult Education Division, the higher education community, Learning Works ,(Adult Education), AARP, Vermont Associates for Training and Development and other public and private training providers, University of Vermont’s Center on Aging, Vermont’s Society of Human Resource Management and, of course, the employer community.

What Works

Providing accessible and affordable training and re-training opportunities facilitates mature worker employment, re-employment and retention in existing jobs. A strong employee assistance program also facilitates employee retention. Short-term trainings providing industry recognized certificates and other stackable credentials provide employees with skill sets that employers want and need. Employers’ providing flexible work schedules and accommodations, retraining opportunities, employee mentoring programs, retirement planning and/or phased retirement options also contribute to a healthy and inviting work environment. State and federally supported training and retraining programs with access to supportive services and supportive staff also provide employment and retention opportunities. Funds that support skill acquisition such as VSAC’s non-degree grant programs, Progressive Employment and training off sets, Vocational Rehabilitation support, the Workforce Education and Training Fund, the Vermont Training Program, Adult Technical Education enable mature workers to access and pay for training. Programs such as ELL offered through Vermont Adult Learning aid mature, new Americans access jobs. Various state and federal training grants also provide employment preparation opportunities as does CCV’s Career Readiness Certificate Program. All of these programs work best if done in partnership with the employer community and/or those organizations that represent employers.


DAIL will continue to work with AARP and the Department of Economic Development to prepare toolkits for the employer community that provide resources and answers to essential questions employers may have/need. Once the toolkit is finished informational meetings will be arranged with the Business Roundtable, Regional Development Corporations, other business groups. DAIL will assist the Department of Economic Development to update its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies document to include specific employment and training strategies for mature workers. DAIL will continue partnering with the Vermont Department of Labor and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Governor’s Office to co-sponsor the annual Governor’s Award for Excellence in Supporting Mature Workers. Last year the awards presentations was hosted by the Vermont Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM); it is anticipated they will host the awards ceremony for 2017. DAIL will continue working with the Vermont Associates for Training and Development implementing the state’s Senior Community Service Employment Program.

Notes on Methodology

2019 data was the most recent available in August 2022.

Used for AHS community profiles CP-EMP-001.

US Census POPULATION 65 YEARS AND OVER IN THE UNITED STATES American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates Table S0103

'Target' value is national rate. Note higher margins of error for estimated state rate. Caution should be used when interpreting a statistic based on small sample sizes or when the Margin Of Error (MOE) is large relative to the estimate. The MOE is a measurement of the accuracy of the statistic.

*Vermont Population Projections-2010-2030, August 2013, Ken Jones, ACCD, and Lilly Schwarz, Montpelier High School. Review Committee comprised of representatives from VDOL, AOE, Financial Regulation, UVM, DOH.

 **US Bureau of the Census, Population Estimates Program. Updated annually.

 ***US Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, 65+ in the United States:2010, published June 2014.

****Times Argus Article, December 28, 2016.

Definitions used by the US Census in producing this indicator:

Labor Force – All people classified in the civilian labor force plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces (people on active duty with the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard).

Civilian Labor Force – Consists of people classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the criteria described below:

Employed – This category includes all civilians 16 years old and over who either (1) were “at work,” that is, those who did any work at all during the reference week as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession, worked on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business; or (2) were “with a job but not at work,” that is, those who did not work during the reference week but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons. Excluded from the employed are people whose only activity consisted of work around the house or unpaid volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations; also excluded are all institutionalized people and people on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.

Unemployed – All civilians 16 years old and over are classified as unemployed if they (1) were neither “at work” nor “with a job but not at work” during the reference week, and (2) were actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and (3) were available to start a job. Also included as unemployed are civilians who did not work at all during the reference week, were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off, and were available for work except for temporary illness. Examples of job seeking activities are:

 Registering at a public or private employment office

 Meeting with prospective employers

 Investigating possibilities for starting a professional practice or opening a business

 Placing or answering advertisements

 Writing letters of application

 Being on a union or professional register


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