Policy strategies to support and encourage older adults’ return to the workforce

Alongside pandemic-era job losses, workers have also left the labor force all together, including for safety concerns, inability to find work, insufficient child care, and other caregiving responsibilities. Adults age 65 or older represent a disproportionate share of those exiting the workforce, with more older adults leaving the labor force in 2020 than in any year since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking in 1948. Many older adults who remain in the labor force have struggled with unemployment, reflecting that it typically takes older workers longer to find new jobs. Experts at the Urban Institute propose some ways that policymakers can support and encourage older adults to return to the workforce, including by funding dedicated supports for older job hunters through American Job Centers. Another strategy—especially relevant during the pandemic—is making workplaces safer, including regulating and enforcing COVID-19 vaccination and preventative measures. Finally, authors suggest that federal laws preventing age discrimination in the workplace be strengthened. #covid-19 #workforce

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