|Title||The Intersecting Consequences of Race-Gender Health Disparities on Workforce Engagement for Older Workers: An Examination of Physical and Mental Health|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Jason, K, Erving, CL|
|Keywords||Aging and the life course, gender, Health Disparities, Labor, Occupations, organizations, race|
The dramatic growth of older adults’ labor participation over the past 25 years, including women and people of color, is reshaping the American labor force. The current study contributes new knowledge concerning why individuals over age 50 years may be working longer despite negative impacts of deteriorating physical and mental health associated with aging. Inquiries regarding who continues to work and why can be answered, in part, by addressing how workforce engagement and health are shaped by notable social inequities along the dimensions of age, race, and gender. Guided by cumulative advantage/disadvantage and intersectionality frameworks, we examine whether having multiple chronic conditions (MCC)—two or more physical conditions—and depression affect workforce participation. Using multinomial logistic regression models, we analyze the 2014–2016 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 4250). Findings reveal that having multiple chronic illnesses increase the likelihood of labor force exit, especially among workers who also have depression. We also discover intersectional nuances which illuminate complex race-gender dynamics related to health and work processes in later life. We conclude with recommendations for workplace policy that promote the retention of older workers with chronic illness and depression and aim to decrease disparities in older workers’ work engagement.