Cornell University

Catherwood Library

Catherwood Library, Ives Hall, 607-255-5435

Question of the Month

From the Catherwood Library reference librarians

June-July 2004

PLEASE NOTE: The Reference Question of the Month is kept current only during the month for which it was written. Archived questions will not be updated, and over time may contain inaccurate information or broken web links. We provide archived questions as a service, since much of the information will remain accurate and of continued interest to the ILR community.

Question: What do we know about older workers in the United States and how does this compare to other countries?

Answer: This topic is extremely broad. Consequently, this answer is limited to some key materials that provide background for further research.

United States
Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics
Links to Statistical Resources:

Administration on Aging

A Profile of Older Americans
Index, or
pdf - full-text, 19 pages, or
Employment Section

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Trends in job demands among older workers, 1992-2002
by Richard W. Johnson
Self-employment among older U.S. workers
by Lynn A. Karoly and Julie Zissimopoulos
in Monthly Labor Review Online July 2004, Vol. 127, Number 7

U.S. Census

Older Population Data

General Accounting Office (GAO)

[General Accountability Office after 7 July 2004]
Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Employer- Employee Relations, Committee on Education and the Workforce, House of Representatives
16 November 2001 (GAO-02-85 Older Workers)
OLDER WORKERS: Demographic Trends Pose Challenges for Employers and Workers [full-text, 46 pages]

Most Other High-Income Nations Aging More Rapidly Than the United States (Graph)

U.S. Labor Force Growth Will Continue to Decline (Graph)

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends
- Updated October 26, 2001

Women's Bureau

Quick Facts on Older Workers

National Academies Press

Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers (2004)
Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences and Education
David H. Wegman and James P. McGee, Editors, Committee on the Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers, National Research Council
pdf - full text, and
Executive Summary [full-text, 12 pages]

Other countries

OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)


OECD Employment Outlook 2004: Statistical Annex [7 July 2004]
[full-text, 37 pages]

From the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Dublin Foundation)

Aging and Work in Europe [15 July 2004]
html or pdf [full-text, 19 pages]

U.S. Census Bureau

An Aging World, 2001 [November 2001]
[full-text, 190 pages]

— Researched by smb6