The Economic Perspective: “Working Longer”


I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at working longer.  Mike, statistics show that more people are working longer years.  For example, you’re one of them, since you have now taught at NC State for 42 years.  Why are careers going more years?  Is it just about the money?

  • That’s certainly one possibility – fewer companies today have guaranteed pensions
  • And older folks are living longer and therefore facing greater medical costs
  • But some work more years because they like what they do – I’m one
  • Also, what we do is less physically demanding
  • My late father liked what he did, but he had to retire in his early sixties because his body wasn’t up to the physically challenging work of a carpenter
  • Still, there are two impediments to older folks working longer
  • One is salary – seniority means they are high paid compared to a new worker
  • Second – skills gap – older workers may not have kept up with current skills
  • I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.