Recessions and Older Workers

Alicia H. MunnellDan Muldoon Steven A. Sass

IB#9-2

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.