Workplace Characteristics and Employment of Older Workers

29 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2013

See all articles by Chinhui Juhn

Chinhui Juhn

University of Houston - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kristin McCue

Government of the United States of America - Bureau of the Census

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

As aging of the U.S. population places increased demands on public programs such as Social Security, an important question is how long older Americans are willing and able to work before they retire from the labor force. While studies based on household surveys have provided information on the role of savings, health status, pension and health insurance coverage, there is relatively little information on how workplace and employer characteristics affect the employment of older workers. In this study we use linked employer-employee data to explore the relationship between the characteristics of jobs held at age 55 and early retirement. We focus on a sample of 63-year-olds drawn from the 2005-2008 American Community Survey. We match this sample to information on their earnings, employment, employers and coworkers drawn from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data for the years in which they age from 55 to 63. We use employment status as reported in the ACS to split the sample into those who have retired by age 63 and those who continue to work. We then examine differences between early retirees and continuing workers in the characteristics of their employment at age 55, and at how these characteristics change as they approach age 63. We find that early retirees are more likely to be employed by larger employers at age 55 than are continuers. They work for employers with somewhat higher pay than do continuers, and are less likely to have young coworkers.

Suggested Citation

Juhn, Chinhui and McCue, Kristin, Workplace Characteristics and Employment of Older Workers (September 2012). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP-CES 12-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205216 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2205216

Chinhui Juhn (Contact Author)

University of Houston - Department of Economics ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-5882
United States
713-743-3823 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kristin McCue

Government of the United States of America - Bureau of the Census ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

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