The Labor of a Lifetime?: Health and Occupation Type as Predictors of Workforce Exit Among Older Australians
Objectives: The structural aging of the population and withdrawal of older people from the labor force have become common themes within Western social policy discourse and have particular relevance to policy development around health and aging. The current study examines whether particular occupation types are associated with both poor health and an increased likelihood of labor force exit. Methods: Longitudinal data are used to examine workforce participation among older Australians (aged between 55 and 64, in 2002). Results: Older workers in trades, labor, and production occupations, the majority of whom are men, have poorer general health than their counterparts in other occupations and are also the most likely to exit the workforce. Discussion: These findings suggest that a number of older men in Australia (and, indeed, elsewhere) may face both poor health and limited employment opportunities in areas that match their abilities and experience. These individuals may experience a number of years out of the labor force, highlighting a role for targeted policies and programs.
Journal of Aging and Health
Aged Health Care