Presents a chartbook of trends to show changes in older workers’ labor market outcomes from 1970 to 2016—by age, sex, and education—and discusses findings from a descriptive analysis of US census data.

“Working longer can significantly improve the lives of older adults. Extending the work life and delaying retirement benefit take-up can bolster financial security at older ages.…[A]dults who work longer can receive higher monthly Social Security benefits, accumulate more employer-sponsored pensions, save part of their additional earnings, and shrink the period over which their retirement savings are spread. [Research shows] that average annual retirement incomes rise 9 percent when older adults work an additional year and 56 percent when they work an additional five years” (p.1).

“Older workers with limited education, however, generally drop out of the labor force earlier than workers with more education. Less-educated people tend to work less at older ages because many have health problems and work in physically demanding jobs….As economic security in old age increasingly depends on delaying retirement, less-educated older adults who retire early will likely face financial challenges in later life and fall further behind their better educated counterparts….

This chartbook reports trends in four labor market outcomes—labor force participation (defined as working or actively looking for work), full-time employment, self-employment, and earnings—and shows how they differ by age, sex, and education. Appendix tables provide detailed statistics. The data, running from 1970 to 2016, come from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, designed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and fielded by the US Census Bureau” (p.1).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)