Millions of Older Americans Forced Into Early Retirement

Aug 21, 2020 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Assistant Editor

Since March 2020, 2.9 million workers ages 55 to 70 have left the labor force, the New School’s Retirement Equity Lab found in a recent study. And more than half of unemployed American workers over the age of 55 are at risk of being forced into early retirement in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Around half a million of the 1.3 million older workers who were already unemployed in March gave up looking for work by June and left the labor force. In addition, close to 4 million older workers lost their employment from March to June, and 2.4 million of them left the labor force entirely.

More older Americans are likely to leave the labor force in the near future. Between March and June, 38% of unemployed older Americans gave up looking for work. If the rate of exits continues just over the next three months, an additional 1.1 million older workers will leave the labor force, according to the report.

Moreover, the study found that women and non-white older workers—who are at already at a greater risk of having no retirement savings and of suffering poverty in retirement—were hit particularly hard during Covid-19. Fewer than 11% of older white men working in March reported being jobless in June, with 5.3% becoming unemployed and 5.4% leaving the labor force, the New School found. Among non-white older workers, however, 19% became jobless, with 8.8% becoming unemployed and 10.2% leaving the work force, according to the report. And among older nonwhite female workers,19.5% lost their jobs, with 7.7% becoming unemployed and 11.8% leaving the labor force.

You can find an article about this report at Financial Advisor IQ.


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