Presents 2014–2024 current and projected employment levels, skill gaps, and occupations for low-income adults over age 50 to inform targeted training and education programs for that population.

To “help current and future low-income workers find and keep employment that pays a living wage [one must]…understand the skills that population needs. To aid in that understanding, this report examines current employment for low-income older workers and compares it to projected employment for different occupations. [The authors] also examine low- and middle-wage occupations projected to grow most rapidly between 2014 and 2024 and analyze the education, experience, and on-the-job training requirements for those occupations. Given the current skills of low-income older workers and the needed skills projected for various occupations, [the authors] estimate potential skill gaps for low-income older workers. Finally, [the authors] examine the occupations and industries from which older workers will be exiting the workforce” (p.1).

“This report addresses the following research questions:

1. What is the current distribution of employment by industry and occupation for low-income workers age 50 and older?

2. What is the distribution of educational attainment by occupation and industry in 2015?

3. Which low- to middle-wage occupations are expected to grow most rapidly from 2014 to 2024 at the state and national levels?

4. What are the wages, educational requirements, work experience requirements, and on-the-job training requirements for those occupations expected to grow most rapidly by 2024?

5. What are the current skills of low-income workers age 50 and older, and how might those skills be useful in occupations that are expected to grow in the future?

6. What industries or occupations are low-income older workers exiting the workforce or retiring from in the next five years?” (p.6).

“This analysis incorporates several data sources, each of which sheds some light on occupational projections and skill gaps that could be filled by targeted education and training of the low-income older population. Individual and household surveys that include data on low-income older workers, namely the American Community Survey…and the Health and Retirement Study…, provide the foundation for this report. Those data are supplemented by occupation-level information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections program and the Occupational Information Network…database” (p.6).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Occupational Projections for Low-Income Older Workers. Assessing the Skill Gap for Workers Age 50 and Older