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Key Findings Details

Employment Trends by Age in the United States: Why Are Older Workers Different?
Sudipto Banerjee and David Blau
WP 2013-285

  • Employment trends diverged by age in the past quarter century, with employment rates declining at younger ages and rising at older ages, for both men and women.
  • Social Security reform, changes in the educational composition of the population by age, and the delay in first marriage can explain 10-20% of the divergence.
  • The effect of Social Security reform on the divergence in employment trends by age will persist and likely increase in magnitude as benefits decline in the future.
  • Future research should study the role of other factors such as age discrimination and job displacement.

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