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More Australian olders choose to work: study

(Xinhua)    10:59, June 15, 2015

MELBOURNE, June 15 -- The number of Australian women aged over 60 who continue to work has jumped by almost 300 percent in the past two decades, Australian research revealed on Monday.

Overall, more Australians are choosing to work well into their 60s compared to when the University of Melbourne's Institute of Applied Social and Economic Research began their study back in 1993.

Professor Mark Wooden said a shift in social expectations and a longer life expectancy is forcing people to work longer and harder to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.

He also cited a wider range of available jobs as a reason for the jump in numbers.

"There was a sense in the past that if you were 55 and you worked for a company that shut down it would be very hard for that worker to get back into the workforce," he said.

"It is still hard but hopefully we are now seeing signs of changes to that attitude."

The research found that 45 percent of women aged 60-64 were in the labor force in 2013, compared to just 15.2 percent in 1993.

Wooden said that overall, women were working in higher numbers as the older expectations of traditional roles are being dumped in favor of chasing a successful career. He said he expects the trend to continue as the study progresses.

"Previously lots of women just weren't in the workforce to begin with, or exited the workforce quite early in life," he said.

The number of women workers aged 25-35 rose from 65.5 percent in 1993 up to 74.3 percent in 2013, while 70.2 percent of women aged 35-44 were working compared with 75.5 per cent in 2013.

The number of female workers aged 45-54 also jumped from 65.4 percent to 77.9 percent in the same period.

Meanwhile men were working in similar numbers across the study period, but, similarly to women, there was a significantly higher number of older workers.

Only 8 percent of men aged 65 or older were a part of the workforce in 1993 compared with 16.9 percent in 2013.

Wooden said the numbers were higher due to the rise in demand for casual and part time workers, and older members of the workforce were "transitioning" into retirement.

"There is an idea now that we can create more pathways to transition to retirement -- part-time jobs, casual jobs and the like," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Zhang Qian)

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