Alternative Pathways: An Intersectional Analysis of U.S. Men and Women Boomers’ Short-Term Workforce Stability, Exits, and Churn

Phyllis Moen , University of Minnesota
Sarah Flood, University of Minnesota
Janet Wang, University of Minnesota

The timing/sequencing of short-term later life-course work pathways and their distribution across individuals in intersecting social locations (such as combinations of age, gender, and education) have considerable theoretical and policy relevance. Yet most later adulthood labor force exit/retirement research considers annual or biennial exits rather than month-to-month continuity and change, investigates variables rather than person-centered pathways in work participation, and simply controls for age, gender and education as separate indicators. We capitalize on massive micro-level monthly panel data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) over 10 years from 2008 to 2018 to examine disparities in biographical pacing—the timing and sequencing of remaining in or out of or exiting/reentering employment over 16 months. We have panel data on 346,488 American women and men ages 50 to 75. This is, to our knowledge, the first population-based panel study specifically addressing associations between intersectional social locations and short-term later-life workforce dynamics.

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 Presented in Session 222. Trends, Determinants, and Consequences of the Length of Working Life