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Past Event

Improving economic opportunity for older workers

Past Event

Families can achieve a more secure retirement by working longer. Spending more years in the workforce provides additional time to save for retirement, allows workers to boost their Social Security checks through delayed claiming, and fosters social and intellectual stimulation that some lose after retirement. In order to work longer, however, older workers must have access to good employment opportunities, either by keeping their existing jobs or by moving to a new job—a task that has becoming increasingly difficult in the wake of the pandemic and attendant labor market downturn.

In this webinar, leading labor experts discuss challenges to work at older ages—including discrimination, access to training, and locating a suitable job—while also proposing promising policy reforms. The webinar is divided into two panels. The first panel, moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow Martin Baily, features former Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris and University of California, Irvine Economics Professor David Neumark. The second panel, moderated by Kellogg School of Management Professor Ben Harris, features Upjohn Institute Research Director Susan Houseman and Harvard University Research Associate Beth Truesdale.

Download the four papers here:


Panel 1

Seth Harris

Visiting Professor - Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

former acting Secretary of Labor

David Neumark

Distinguished Professor of Economics - University of California, Irvine

Director - Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute

Panel 2

Susan Houseman

Vice President for Research - W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research


Ben Harris

Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy - U.S. Treasury

Former Executive Director of the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative - Northwestern University

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