Those looking to whitewash the health of the jobs market in the United States use various lines of bullshit to rationalize the status quo. One prominent story says the shrinking labor force participation rate is due in large part to retiring Baby Boomers, and thus represents a natural demographic shift.
Doug Short demolished this nonsense in What Would It Take for the Prime U.S. Workforce to Fully Recover? (Advisor Perspectives, August 12, 2015). Here's the chart and text we're interested in (the emphasis is Doug's).
The Growth of the Elderly Workforce and Its Causes
Let's close this analysis with a chart that essentially demolishes the prevailing view of our aging population as a demographic drag on labor supply. Here is the ratio of the 65-and-over cohort as a percent of the employed civilian population all the way back to 1948, the earliest year of government employment data. Mind you ... these people are not only in the workforce, but also actually employed.
The 12-month moving average of elderly employment is at its historic high of 5.6% -- now over double its low in the mid-1980s. This is a trend with multiple root causes, most notably longer lifespans, the decline in private sector pensions and frequent cases of insufficient financial planning. Another major factor is the often surprising discovery by many of the elderly that, financial consideration aside, the "golden years of retirement" are less personally satisfying than productive employment. Note that the growth acceleration began in the late 1990s, prior to the last two business cycle downturns (aka "recessions").
In short, as a percentage of the employed, more elderly people (65+) are working now than at any time since 1948, when the government started tracking this stuff.
Deconstructing economic bullshit, one chart at a time.