Recessions and Older Workers

Source: Alicia H. Munnell, Dan Muldoon, and Steven A. Sass, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Issue in Brief, IB # 9-2, January 2009

The brief’s key findings are:

Despite the current recession, the employment rate of older men has not fallen.

This surprising fact is the net result of two long-term developments.

On the one hand, the labor force participation of older workers has risen steadily due to changes in Social Security, job demands, and health care access.

And 401(k)s have exposed workers to stock market collapses.

On the other hand, declining job tenure has eroded older workers’ protection against layoffs, increasing the risk of unemployment.

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