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Ageing and Employment Policies: United States 2018

Working Better with Age and Fighting Unequal Ageing

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In the United States, employment rates at older ages are comparatively high at 62% among 55-64 year-olds against 59% on average in OECD countries in 2016. However, there are large disparities across population groups. Early retirement remains a widespread phenomenon, especially among workers from vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds. Preventing old-age disparities in terms of employment outcomes and retirement income from widening is crucial. This report looks at the various pathways out of the labour market for older workers, and how employers can be supported to retain and hire older workers. It examines the best ways that the United States can promote the employability of workers throughout their working lives and more equal outcomes among older workers.

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Executive summary

In the United States, employment rates at older ages are comparatively high at 62% among 55-64 year-olds against 59% on average in OECD countries in 2016. However, there are large disparities across population groups. Early retirement remains a widespread phenomenon, especially among workers from vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds. Preventing old-age disparities in terms of employment outcomes and retirement income from widening is crucial. Poverty among older persons in the United States is already a challenge today, as more than 20% of those over 65 have incomes under the relative poverty line — defined as half of median disposable household income — compared to less than 13% on average in the OECD. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income provisions are set at low levels compared to other countries. Effective and well-tailored policy action is needed to achieve greater inclusiveness at old age. Further efforts should promote broader access to employment opportunities and foster longer and better working lives.

English

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