Older Workers Report

Since Reagan, Older Workers in Rust-Belt States Flipped from Economic Winners to Losers

December 2, 2016

Older Workers at a Glance...

  • 3.5% U-3 Headline Unemployment
  • 10.5% ReLab's U-7 Inclusive Unemployment Rate
  • $961 Median Real Weekly Earnings
  • 70/59% Male / Female Labor Force Participation
  • 25% in Low-Paying Jobs
  • 53% Without a Pension

November 2016 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today reported a 3.5% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in November, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from October.Tweet:

Older Workers in Rust-Belt States Flip

While “Older Workers at a Glance” shows steady growth in real earnings for older workers, national averages mask long-run stagnation and decline in the four rust-belt states - Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - that unexpectedly voted for Donald Trump after voting for President Obama in 2012. 

Before Reagan, older workers in these four states received higher wages than older workers in the rest of the country. Now they are doing worse. In 1979, rust-belt older workers were making $3,600 more than their counterparts elsewhere. In 2015, they were earning $4,000 less. Between 1979 and 2015, the median real wage for older workers in the four rust-belt states that flipped to Trump increased only 1% compared to 17% in the rest of the U.S.

Stagnant and declining real wages erode workers’ ability to save for retirement and increase their reliance on Social Security. To address the economic insecurities of working families, the Trump administration needs to create a path to a secure retirement by expanding Social Security and providing universal access to secure retirement plans through Guaranteed Retirement Accounts.

 

Unemployment Rate

Median Weekly Wages for Older Workers

Labor Force Participation for Older Workers

Low Paying Jobs for Older Workers

Older Workers without a Pension

 

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.