Raising Social Security Retirement Age Could Hit Latinos Hardest
A new study showing that more than four in 10 older workers are employed in physically stressful occupations or work environments gives fresh ammunition to critics of raising the Social Security retirement age. The report, “Still Working Hard: An Update on the Share of Older Workers in Demanding Jobs,” released by the progressive think tank Center for Economic and Policy Research on Thursday, also found that workers in those jobs are disproportionately Latino, lacking a college degree, and earning a low income. The findings support many progressives’ claims that raising the Social Security retirement age would discriminate based on race and class by forcing many older workers to continue jobs that are taking a toll on their health. “These data indicate that many workers would face serious hardship by working later into their life” if policymakers raise the Social Security retirement age, wrote the report’s authors, Cherrie Bucknor and Dean Baker. In total, 43.8 percent of workers aged 58 or older — 10.2 million people — worked in either physically demanding jobs or difficult working conditions in 2014, according to the report. Older Latinos are by far the most likely to work in these demanding jobs, but African-Americans and Asians also are more likely than whites to be employed in those stressful occupations. In 2014, 60.7 percent Latinos aged 58 or older worked in jobs that fit into one of the report’s two categories, compared with 49 percent of their black peers, 48.9 percent of their Asian peers, and 41 percent of older whites.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.