Intersectional trends in employment quality in older adults in the United States

TitleIntersectional trends in employment quality in older adults in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsAndrea, SB, Eisenberg-Guyot, J, Peckham, T, Oddo, VM, Hajat, A
JournalSSM - Population Health
ISBN Number2352-8273
Keywordsemployment quality, Inequities, Intersectionality, Precarious employment

Americans' working lives have become more precarious over the past several decades. Worsening employment quality has been linked to poorer physical and mental health and may disproportionately impact marginalized working populations. We examined differences in the quality and character of worker-employer relationships among older workers in the United States (US) across intersecting gender-racial/ethnic-educational subgroups. Using longitudinal data on employment stability, material rewards, workers’ rights, working-time arrangements, unionization, and interpersonal power relations from the Health and Retirement Study (1992–2016), we used principal components analysis to construct an employment quality (EQ) score. We estimated intersectional differences in EQ, overall and over time, using generalized estimating equations. Overall, EQ was greatest for white men with college degrees and poorest for Latinx women with < high school degrees. Over time, EQ tended to remain unchanged or slightly worsen across intersectional strata; the greatest EQ reduction was for Latinx women with college degrees, while the greatest improvement was for white women with high school degrees. There are enduring and growing inequities in EQ for older marginalized adults in the US, which may contribute to growing health inequities.

Citation Key11733