Older Workers Report

“Older Workers at a Glance” Provides a Full Picture of the Labor Market for Near Retirees

September 2, 2016

Older Workers at a Glance...

  • 3.5% U-3 Headline Unemployment
  • 8.7% U-6 Unemployment Includes Part-Time + Discouraged Workers
  • $880 Median Real Weekly Earnings
  • 71/57% Male / Female Labor Force Participation
  • 29% in Low-Paying Jobs
  • 51% Without a Pension

Brief — August 2016 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55  Tweet: New #JobsReport: “Older Workers @ a Glance” Full picture of labor market for 55+ w/inadequate#retirement savings http://ctt.ec/k6f7y+ width=

The historically low headline unemployment rate for older workers - 3.5% in August according to today’s BLS jobs report - is frequently cited as evidence that people can can continue to work if they have inadequate retirement income.

However, the official unemployment rate overstates the strength of the labor market for older workers. For example, an increasing share of older workers are in “bad jobs” - 29.1% in July 2016 compared to 27.0% in July 2006 - that pay less than two-thirds of the median wage (which was $880 per week last month).

To provide a full picture of the reality older workers face in the job market, we are introducing “Older Workers at a Glance.” This one-of-a-kind feature reports key labor market statistics (described below) for workers over 55 as a supplement to our monthly analysis of market trends.

This documentation seeks to provide for a more informed discussion of the policies needed to address the retirement crisis and the resulting downward mobility of workers after a lifetime of work. Rather than cutting Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age, we need to ensure all workers a viable path to retirement security through Guaranteed Retirement Accounts on top of Social Security.



Older Workers in Bad Jobs




Headline and Total Unemployment for Older Workers



Labor Force Participation for Older Worker by Sex



Median Wages for Older Workers



Pension Coverage for Private Sector Workers