The World's Oldest Employees

Meet the world's oldest workers

Many spend most of their working life counting down to their retirement. Others enjoy their work so much they don't retire... ever. In fact, some of the world's oldest employees are working very "normal" jobs in their 70s, 80s, 90s and even 100s.

For some this is because they need to top up their pension, but for others it's simply a case of continuing to enjoy their work and valuing the interaction with other people that work brings. This is supported by research which has found that there are health benefits for those who choose to continue working rather than retire.

So what jobs are the world's oldest employees doing and where in the world are they happily clocking in and out of shifts?

The world's oldest fast-food employee

At 92 years old, Sara Dappen is considered one of the USA's oldest employees at one of the most American companies; McDonald's. Responsible for tidying away people's burger wrappers and cleaning tables, Ms Dappen says her favourite part of her job is talking with customers. Read what her manager thinks about her oldest employee here.

The world's oldest barmaid

100-year-old Dolly Saville pulled her first pint at the British pub The Red Lion in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, in 1940 and an incredible 75 years later, she's still working three shifts a week there. According to this article, Dolly estimates that she's poured over two million drinks for people since becoming a barmaid at 25, and another of Dolly's claims to fame is that she has only ever had two weeks sick leave... in her entire life!

The world's oldest office worker

At 101 years old Jim Clements is the UK's oldest employee and possibly the world's oldest office temp. Mr Clements actually returned to work after becoming bored of retirement in his 60s and he has been an office temp at a security firm in Essex, southern England for over 30 years. Watch a video about Jim here.

The world's oldest Michelin Star chef

Jiro Ono is not only the world's oldest Three Michelin Star chef but he is also possibly the best and most famous sushi chef on the planet as documented in the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which catapulted him to world fame. Later this year Jiro will turn 90 and he shows no signs of slowing down or leaving his restaurant in the capable hands of his son who is almost approaching retirement age himself.

The world's oldest investment banker

At 108 years young, Irving Kahn is the oldest worker on our list. And he's possibly the richest considering he's made - and continues to make - his living from investments. His career on Wall Street started in the 1920s and not only did he survive the Great Depression, but also the many other ups and downs of the financial markets in the 90 years that have followed. Find out more about Irving's story and his advice for investing here.

The world's oldest government employee

From private sector to public sector, at 91 years old Oscar Epstein is believed to be the US's oldest employee of a government organisation. A loyal servant of Boston's Department of Transportation as a state highway engineer, Mr Epstein is in his 66th year of public service. The Boston Globe profiled him a few years ago and made him something of a local celebrity, but he hasn't let fame go to his head and still gets the same Green Line tram to work every morning.

The world's oldest factory worker

Rocky Battista is not only the oldest factory worker on our list - and arguably has the best name - but he's perhaps the most loyal of everyone, staying with the same company for over 75 years. The company in question is Coca Cola which publicly applauded Mr Battista for his decades of service back in 2013. He claims to do a bit of everything at the South Brunswick Coca Cola plant in New Jersey, including drinking a bottle of coke everyday, of course.

The world's oldest retail assistant

So Rose Syracuse may have already retired, but we think her 73 years of service at famous New York City department store Macy's earns her a place on our list. According to this article, her career began when she was 17 in 1939 and she earned just $15 a week. She retired in 2012, not because she wanted to, but because a broken hip meant she was no longer able to work. That said, she promises to stay a loyal Macy's customer.

The world's oldest car washer

It seemed wrong to have a list of the world's oldest employees without mentioning Londoner Buster Martin who passed away in 2011. He had long claimed to be Britain's oldest worker and was a gainful employee of Pimlico Plumbers until the day he died aged 104, though in the past some have disputed his real age. He was employed by the London firm when he was 97 and washed their vans every day. After his shift was over he often went running, training for the London Marathon which he completed aged 101.

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