The information you're looking for can be found here:
Statistical Abstract of the United States--2006
though it takes a bit of searching and reworking of the numbers to get
it all neatly available. The numbers don't present average ages, but
they clearly show that workers are generally older than college
Table 579 of the reports has the age distribution of the American workforce:
Table 579. Civilian Labor Force?Percent Distribution by Sex and Age: 1980 to 2004
The table shows that, of the 147.4 million civilian workers in the US
(in 2004), their age distribution is as follows:
16 to 19 -- 4.8%
20 to 24 -- 10.3
25 to 34 -- 21.8
35 to 44 -- 24.5
45 to 54 -- 22.9
55 to 64 -- 12.2
and over -- 3.4
Clearly, the great bulk of the workforce (84.9%) is in the 25 and
older age brackets, with most common age group being the 35-44 year
For college students, turn to Table 268:
Table 268. College Enrollment by Sex, Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1980 to 2003
The data here are presented somewhat differently -- numbers rather
than percents, and breakouts for male and female students.
For 2003, the data is as follows:
Males Females Total
(thousands of students)
18 to 24 years 4,697 5,667 10,364
25 to 34 years 1,590 1,904 3,494
35 years+ 970 1,660 2,630
Once again, the data are very clear that the bulk of college students
(63%) are in the 24 and under age range.
Q.E.D. -- the typical worker is older than the typical college student.
The citation for the Statistical Abstracts is often given as:
U.S. Bureau of the Census. 2006. Statistical Abstract of the United
States. 112th ed. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office
I trust this information fully answers your question.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.
search strategy -- Made use of the bookmarked site for the Statistical Abstracts