The Problem Isn't Age: Work and Older Americans

The Problem Isn't Age: Work and Older Americans

The Problem Isn't Age: Work and Older Americans

The Problem Isn't Age: Work and Older Americans


Preface I: Introduction Prospects for Older Worders: The Demographic and Economic Context by Steven H. Sandell Labor Market Problems and Employment Policies Affecting Older Americans by Steven H. Sandell II: Labor Market Problems The Reduced Pay of Older Job Losers: Age Discrimination and Other Explanations by David Shapiro and Steven H. Sandell Age Changes in Productivity and Earnings Among Managers and Professionals by Paul Andirsani Market for Part-Time Employment by Jim Jondrow, Frank Brechling, and Alan Marcus Older Workers, Job Displacement, and the Employment Service by Terry R. Johnson, Katherine P. Dickinson, and Richard W. West III: Policies and Prospects Government Employment and Training Programs, and Older Americans by Kalman Rupp, Edward Bryant, Richard Mantovani, and Michael Rhoads Increasing Employment Opportunities for Older Workers: Emerging State and Local Institutions by James O. Gollub Work Alternatives for Older Americans: A Management Perspective by Carolyn Paul Private-Sector Employment Practices for Older Workers by Lawrence S. Root and Laura H. Zarrugh Restructuring Social Security: How Will Retirement Ages Respond? by Gary S. Fields and Olivia S. Mitchell Health Plan Costs, Medicare, and Employment of Older Workers by Joseph M. Anderson, David L. Kennell, and John F. Sheils Retirement and Older Americans' Participation in Volunteer Acitivities by Carol Jusenius Romero IV: Conclusions The Problem Isn't Age: Conclusions and Implications by Steven H. Sandell Selected Bibliography Index


The employment problems of older Americans, and the government and private sector policies designed to alleviate them, are receiving greater attention. Later retirement is an important ingredient of many proposals to reinforce the financial integrity of the Social Security trust fund. The aging of the work force and population, together with the restructuring of the nation's industries, makes the problems of older workers more evident.

If the nation is to properly utilize its aging human resources by the turn of the century, labor policies must be developed during this decade. Although the percentage of older persons in the labor force will not increase dramatically in the near future, the number of older Americans who want to continue working is growing.

Federal policy for the aged is more income than job oriented, a position that warrants reassessment. A better knowledge base is a prerequisite for developing appropriate employment policies for older Americans. Designing these policies first requires an accurate diagnosis of the problems' causes.

The labor market problems of older workers include some that are specifically related to age, those compounded by changed employment conditions, and difficulties that may be a continuation and worsening of past problems. In the first category belong poor health and disabilities, conditions more likely in advanced years. In the second group belong the problems of displaced older workers, whose unemployment spells are often long and sometimes extend into involuntary early retirement. In the third category belong the problems of elderly women and minority group members, as well as workers with low levels of education, whose problems may be compounded by present or past discrimination.

The current work analyzes the labor market problems of older people and then examines government and private-sector policies that affect their employment prospects. The book's title indicates the new perspective developed from a synthesis of individual studies. Although the cause is not age alone, older Americans do have work- related problems. The information in this book can and should be . . .

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