Older Workers Report

Senate Action Jeopardizes Retirement Plan Coverage for Over Half a Million Older Workers

April 7, 2017

Older Workers at a Glance...

  • 3.4% U-3 Headline Unemployment
  • 9.5% ReLab's U-7 Inclusive Unemployment Rate
  • $955 Median Real Weekly Earnings
  • 69%/58% Male / Female Labor Force Participation
  • 24% in Low-Paying Jobs
  • 53% Without a Pension

March 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today reported a 3.4 percent unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in March, unchanged from February.

While the unemployment rate for older workers remains low, many lack a pathway to a secure retirement. Over one third (37%) lack access to a retirement plan at work.

Despite the need to expand coverage to curb old-age poverty, city efforts to create auto-IRAs for private sector workers are under attack by the GOP-controlled Congress. Last week, the Senate voted to jeopardize initiatives by New York City, Philadelphia, and Seattle that would extend retirement plan coverage to 3.7 million workers, over half a million of whom are near retirees Tweet: #Jobs Report: Senate jeopardizes retirement coverage for over 1/2 million older workers pic.twitter.com/fqiwULOZwK http://bit.ly/2p6KzqW</a>/a>;.

These cities werElderly Poverty Ratese relying on legal guidelines issued by the Department of Labor that the Senate voted to roll back. While city legislators have declared their intention to continue, in the absence of these protective regulations, the initiatives will likely end up in court.

City and state initiatives are an indication of the political will for reform and are a first step to reform at the federal level, such as Guaranteed Retirement Accounts. This proposal would give all workers access to safe, effective retirement accounts by requiring both employee and employer to contribute 1.5% of pay over a lifetime.

 


Unemployment rates


median weekly earnings


Labor force participation


Low-Paying Jobs


No 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.