Increases in employment among older adults could relieve some of the demographic pressures created by population aging, but only if older workers are physically able to perform their job responsibilities. This paper examines recent trends in job demands among older workers. The results indicate that the share of workers ages 55 to 60 in jobs that never require much physical effort increased 18 percent between 1992 and 2002. Nonetheless, nearly one in five older workers reported in 2002 that their jobs always require substantial amounts of physical effort. These findings highlight the importance of an adequate safety net for adults with demanding jobs that force them to retire early.
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