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Economic Policy Institute: Almost Half of Older Workers With Physically Challenging Jobs with Low Pay May Be Unable to Retire

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May 19, 2023

Economic Policy Institute: Almost Half of Older Workers With Physically Challenging Jobs with Low Pay May Be Unable to Retire

The Economic Policy Institute released a report this week showing that significant numbers of Americans over 50 endure difficult working conditions, including physically taxing, dangerous and stressful jobs — jobs that often don’t even pay enough to allow them to ever retire.

The report found that 54.2% of older workers are exposed to unhealthy or hazardous conditions and 46.1% of older workers have high-pressure jobs.

To ensure older workers can afford to retire when they need to, the report advises providing support for workers with caregiving responsibilities, expanding Social Security coverage and benefits, and bolstering health and safety protections in the workplace.

“Some policymakers have proposed that older Americans could delay retirement to increase their savings. However, with 50.3% of older workers enduring physically demanding jobs, proposals to delay retirement make little sense,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “We must expand Social Security to continue to provide retirement security for current and future generations.”

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