November 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported a 3.1% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in November, a rate unchanged from October. This low aggregate number hides the prevalence of low-paying jobs among older workers, especially women.

October 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported a 3.2% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in October, a rate unchanged from September. While this aggregate number is low, the reality is that many older workers have low-paying jobs that don’t provide retirement savings coverage. Older women are especially likely to be in low-paying jobs, in part due to the unequal division of household work.

September 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported a 3.2% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in September, a rate unchanged from August. While this aggregate number is low, the reality is that many older workers have low-paying jobs that don’t provide retirement savings coverage.

August 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55

August Jobs Report

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 3.2% unemployment rate for workers ages 55 and older in August, no change from July. While the headline unemployment rate for near retirees is low, it doesn't indicate the economic fragility faced by workers aged 55-64.

July 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today reported a 3.2% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in July, no change from June. While the low unemployment rate may indicate a healthy labor market for older workers, it doesn’t tell us about job quality.

Only 76% of older workers obtain health insurance through their or their spouse’s job. Tweet: One of four older workers lack employer provided health insurance #JobsReport @tghilarducci http://bit.ly/2fd31hM pic.twitter.com/GCFLges2fN </a>/a>; The remaining 24% fall into three groups; those who purchase private health insurance, often at higher prices or with less coverage and higher deductibles than employer coverage, those eligible for means-tested Medicaid, and those who remain uninsured, typically because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to qualify for private health insurance.

High insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs reduce the amount workers can afford to save for retirement, while the uninsured or underinsured risk catastrophic medical costs that can rapidly deplete their retirement savings.

Access to both health coverage and retirement plans protects older workers’ ability to save for retirement. Policymakers should strengthen the Affordable Care Act and provide a path to a secure retirement by expanding Social Security and implementing Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs). GRAs are individual accounts on top of Social Security that require contributions from employees, employers, and government throughout a worker’s career.

*Arrows reflect the change from the previous month's data for the U-3 and U-7 unemployment rate and the last quarter's data for the median real weekly earnings and low-paying jobs.

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 Percent without Pensions

 

What is the “retirement wealth inequality machine?” The result of a failed retirement savings system, according to retirement expert and economist Teresa Ghilarducci in an interview with INET. In short, the retirement system in the United States is increasingly financialized - dependent on individual assets rather than social insurance - as pensions have given way to 401(k)s. The result? People are not able to save enough. Half of americans that are currently working have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, and otherwise would only have $12,000 per year to rely on from Social Security.

Over 90% of Americans do not have enough saved. As a result, they face the daunting choice of either experiencing downward mobility - and possibly deprivation - in their old age, or working later in life than anyone would hope or dream.

ReLab documents the status of older workers, including their state of employment and working conditions, as well as class, race, and gender divides. Half of older workers report having physically demanding jobs, and those without enough savings are forced to continue working with poor conditions and compensation.

Ghilarducci’s policy proposals to reform our failed retirement system are based in law, history, politics, and the ethics of human well-being. She adds retirement to the list of historically disputed territory that includes the weekend, the length of the working day, paid sick leave, and vacation days. She calls for universal, mandatory, and portable Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) in addition to strengthening Social Security to ensure a dignified retirement for all.

June 2017 Unemployment Report for Workers Over 55  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today reported a 3.2% unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in June, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from May. The low unemployment rate for near retirees is good news. The bad news is that no one can work forever, and our calculations report a collapse in retirement plan coverage for near retirees in the 36 years since Reagan took office.

Unfortunately, workers in the four rust belt states -- states where workers once had bargaining power -- suffered steeper declines in retirement plan coverage rates than did workers in the rest of the country. Tweet: What older workers in the rust belt need from Trump #JobsReport @tghilarducci http://bit.ly/2tWdR1D pic.twitter.com/kFxRrtS8XJ </a>/a>; Thanks to unionized manufacturing jobs, 61% of near retirees in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were covered by a retirement plan at work during Reagan's first term. The share of covered workers collapsed by 10 percentage points to 51% during Obama's second term, after which these states voted for Trump. In the rest of the U.S., the share declined by 7 percentage points, from 53% to 46%.

The closing coverage gap reflects a race to the bottom in which firms are less likely to offer retirement benefits. As a result, workers are at greater risk of facing poverty and hardship in old age.

Obama’s automatic IRA plan didn’t get anywhere, and in 2017 Congressional Republicans rolled back support for state and city coverage reform efforts. Now it’s up to the Trump administration to make a dignified retirement possible for workers by expanding Social Security and increasing access to retirement savings plan for future generations through Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs). GRAs are individual accounts requiring contributions from employees, employers, and government throughout a worker’s career. They provide a safe, effective vehicle for workers to accumulate personal retirement savings. 

*Arrows reflect the change from the previous month's data for the U-3 and U-7 unemployment rate and the last quarter's data for the median real weekly earnings and low-paying jobs.

Image HTML map generator


#U3


Low-Paying jobs


#low 


  #weekly


  #LFP


 Percent without Pensions