Older workers' employment and Social Security spillovers through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic

Gopi Shah Goda, Emilie Jackson, Lauren Hersch Nicholas, Sarah See Stith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a large and immediate drop in employment among U.S. workers, along with major expansions of unemployment insurance (UI) and work from home. We use Current Population Survey and Social Security application data to study employment among older adults and their participation in disability and retirement insurance programs through the second year of the pandemic. We find ongoing improvements in employment outcomes among older workers in the labor force, along with sustained higher levels in the share no longer in the labor force during this period. Applications for Social Security disability benefits remain depressed, particularly for Supplemental Security Income. In models accounting for the expiration of expanded UI, we find some evidence that the loss of these additional financial supports resulted in an increase in disability claiming. Social Security retirement benefit claiming is approximately 3% higher during the second year of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-549
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Pension Economics and Finance
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2023

Keywords

  • Disability
  • labor supply
  • retirement
  • Social Security programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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