Main Street Monday – “Goldilocks Economy” Creates Opportunities for Age 50+ Entrepreneurs

July 29, 2019

By Mary Miller
Contributing Editor, Main Street Monday

Main Street Monday – “Goldilocks Economy” Creates Opportunities for Age 50+ Entrepreneurs

To coin a phrase from the classic children’s tale of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, a Goldilocks Economy is one that is not too hot (inflation), not too cold (recession), but just right. An economy that enjoys moderate economic growth, low inflation and a favorable monetary policy is just right.

For people aged 50 or older, the time is just right to make the transition from the corporate workplace or retirement to entrepreneurship.

Consider the stats:

  • According to a 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis, U.S. workers aged 55+ made up almost one half of the 2.9 million jobs in the workforce. Of all age groups, they comprise the largest overall share.
  • USA Today reports that 39.2 percent of the population aged 55+ were gainfully employed at the end of last year, the highest percentage since 1961. Of this group, the share of those aged 65 or older breakdown by men at 24% and women at 16%.
  • According to the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, the second highest rate of American entrepreneurial activity is among the 55-64 age group, or 28.5%. Stats indicate that an estimated 27 million Americans will transition from the corporate workforce to full time self-employment by 2020. Longer life spans, insufficient retirement savings and the desire to remain active are all contributing factors for the upward trend.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reports that small businesses are creating jobs at an all-time high rate. In 2018, there was a reported number of 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., employing 58 million people.
  • 57% of small business owners are aged 50 and up, according to a Babson College study entitled, “The State of Small Business in America.”
  • As stated in the Fast Company article, “Our Aging Population,” there are 108.7 million people over the age of 50 generating $7.6 trillion annually.

While the population and baby boomers age, they also continue to make significant contributions to stimulating U.S. economic growth. The stats support the fact that this is a strong, long-term trend that will continue well past a Goldilocks Economy.