Jobs Report

How to Save 8.1 Million Seniors from Poverty by 2045

August 3, 2018

Older Workers at a Glance...

  • 3.1% U-3 Headline Unemployment
  • 8.1% ReLab's U-7 Inclusive Unemployment
  • $912 Median Real Weekly Earnings
  • 15% College-Educated Older Workers in Low-Paying Jobs

July 2018 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate of 3.1% for workers age 55 and older for the month of July, which represents no change from June.

While the headline unemployment rate for older workers is at an historic low, an increasing share of older workers are in bad jobs with low and stagnant wages. Without access to jobs that allow older workers to save, inadequate savings will condemn many to poverty in retirement.

We have a choice to make. If we do nothing, the number of poor* people over the age of 62 will increase by 25% between 2018 and 2045, from 17.5 million people to 21.8 million. If we implement Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs), the number of poor elderly will decrease by 22% between 2018 and 2045. 8.1 million seniors would be saved from poverty by 2045. clickAugust2018 Jobs Report

GRAs (proposed in the book, Rescuing Retirement) are universal, individual accounts funded throughout a worker’s career by matching 1.5% contributions from employers and employees and a revenue-neutral $600 refundable tax credit. Contributions would be professionally managed and guaranteed against loss of principal.

Since 1935, Social Security has safeguarded those who worked all their lives from old-age poverty. To fulfill that commitment, Congress and the President need to act quickly to expand Social Security and enact Guaranteed Retirement Accounts.

*Poverty is defined as incomes below 200% of the 2018 Federal Poverty Level, or $24,280 for individuals and $32,960 for couples.
**Arrows next to "Older Workers at a Glance" statistics reflect the change from the previous month's data for the U-3 and U-7 unemployment rate and the last quarter's data for the median real weekly earnings and low-paying jobs.


Unemployment Rates June 1 Job Report updated


Long Term Unemployment June 18


less than 15 April 18


Earnings area April 2018 updated2


  LFP Area June 18


 No Pension Area Feb 18 updated

About SCEPA

SCEPA works to focus the public economics debate on the role government can and should play in the real productive economy - that of business, management, and labor - to raise living standards, create economic security, and attain full employment.