How Have Older Workers Fared During the COVID-19 Recession?

IB#21-7

The brief’s key findings are:

  • While older workers have not been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 Recession, they – like their younger counterparts – have experienced layoffs.
  • This study reports the prevalence of the job exits and retirements and how they vary by earnings level, using data from the Current Population Survey.
  • The analysis focuses on two age groups (50-61 and 62+) and compares the patterns to the Great Recession and the pre-COVID economy.
  • Not surprisingly, low earners are hit harder by recessions. And, as a group, low earners did slightly worse during the COVID Recession than the Great Recession.
  • Interestingly, the high earners ages 62+ were more likely to exit a job and to retire outright in the COVID Recession than they were in the Great Recession.

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