Insights Blog

Older Workers Are Forced Out of The Workforce

August 5, 2021

Research note— New research shows that even before the COVID-19 recession, 55.3 percent of workers age 55 and up in the bottom half of the income distribution were forced to leave the workforce and 32.4 percent in the next 40% of the income distribution – the middle class – were forced out of work in old age.

Authors: Aida Farmand and Teresa Ghilarducci
 
"Involuntary Unemployed By Class," a research note from SCEPA's Retirement Equity Lab, finds between the years 2010 to 2018, 55.3 percent of workers age 55 and up in the bottom half of the income distribution were forced to leave the workforce because of layoffs, plant closings, age discrimination, poor health, and family concerns. A lower, but still substantial share 32.4 percent in the next 40% of the income distribution – the middle class – were forced out of work in old age. Even the most prosperous older workers were forced to retire before they planned, 30.4 percent of those in the top 10% of the income distribution were forced to retire. 


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