Physically Demanding Jobs and Involuntary Retirement Worsen Retirement Insecurity

TitlePhysically Demanding Jobs and Involuntary Retirement Worsen Retirement Insecurity
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsForden, J, Radpour, S, Conway, E, Cook, C, Ghilarducci, T
InstitutionSchwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School
CityNew York, New York
Keywordsinvoluntary retirement, Older workers, Physically demanding jobs, retirement security

Contrary to the hope that technology and machines have made work easier for most, more than 25 percent of older white workers and over 40 percent of older Black and Hispanic workers toil in physically demanding jobs. These realities have crucial implications for the retirement security of older workers. Physically demanding jobs make it more difficult for older workers to continue working at older ages as such jobs can be harsh on aging bodies and cause health problems. This puts older workers at risk of involuntarily exiting the labor force earlier than planned, creating significant financial hurdles to a secure retirement. For these reasons, though working longer may help mitigate today’s growing retirement insecurity, it is not a viable solution to the retirement crisis. As the share of older workers in the labor force increases in the next decade due to demographic changes,1 policymakers should support higher quality jobs for older workers while also ensuring that those who are no longer able to work can retire with financial security.

Citation Key12804