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EMPLOYMENT and
ECONOMIC STATUS of
OLDER MEN and W OMEN
MAY 1 9 5 2

B u l l e t i n

N

U N I T E D

o .

S T A T E S

M a u r i c e

J .

B U R E A U

O F

E w a n

1 0 9 2

T o b i n ,
L A B O R

C l a g u e ,




D E P A R T M E N T
S e c r e t a r y
S T A T I S T I C S

C o m m i s s i o n e r

O F

L A B O R




EM PLOYM ENT
E C O N O M IC
OLDER

MEN

AND

STATUS
AND

OF

W OM EN
M

A

Y

1 9 5 2

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OP LABOR
Maurice J. Tobin, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office,
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 30 cents




LETTER OP TRANSMITTAL
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Washington, D. C., May 28, 1952
The SECRETARY OF LABORS
I have the honor to transnit herewith a report on the Bnployment
and Economic Status of Older Men and Women* This publication has been de­
signed to contribute to informed understanding of questions arising from
the effect of population, employment, and economic trends on the older age
groups in our population.
The data have been selected with a view to providing background
information for persons concerned with the economic and employment problems
of an aging population. Data have been presented separately for men and
women, wherever possible, in order to reveal significant similarities and
differences in their economic status and employment experience. The long­
term trend toward higher labor force participation among women, particularly
those aged 45 to 54, requires increasing awareness of their special problems.
Published and unpublished materials from a variety of sources have
been used in the compilation. The principal sources, in addition to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, were the Bureau of the Census, the Social Se­
curity Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Department
of Labor's Bureau of Employment Security. The cooperation and suggestions
of the Women's Bureau have been particularly helpful. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics acknowledges with appreciation the data made available by other
agencies.
There are serious gaps in available information on significant
aspects of the problems of older workers. The lack of this information
emphasises the importance of still further research needed to clarify ex­
isting knowledge.
"Employment and Economic Status of Older Men and Women" is a
current and more comprehensive presentation of material Included in the
"Fact Book on Employment Problems of Older Workers," issued by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics in August 1950. It was produced in the Division of
Manpower and Employment Statistics, under the direction of C. R. Winegarden,
Chief, Manpower Studies. Helen H. Rings planned and prepared the publica­
tion, with the assistance of Sophia Cooper, who provided the statistical
services.

Ewan Clague, Gounissloner
Bon. Maurice J. Tobin,
Secretary of Labor.




CONTENTS

Page
Population trends ....................
Increases in number and proportion of older persons ..........
The trend toward urbanisation ....................................
Regional variations in population growth, 1940-50 ................
Interstate differences in population 65 years and over ............
Changes in age distribution in selected metropolitan areas, 1940-50
Population estimates, 1950-75 ....................................

1
1
6
6
10
10
13

Trends in the labor force .............................................
Aging of the labor force ..........................................
Changes in labor force participation of older persons ............
Industrial and occupational trends ...............................
Employment by occupation, industry, and class of worker ...........
Duration of employment on current jobs ...........................
Extent and duration of unemployment of older w o r k e r s .............
Older workers in the experienced labor r e s e r v e ..... .............

14
14
14
19
21
27
30
32

Life expectancy and the length of working life ........................
The increase in life expectancy..................................
The growing gap between total life and working-life s p a n ........ .

36
36
37

Income and sources of i n c o m e ......... .................... ..........
Income of families ............. ...................... ...........
Income of men and w o m e n ..........................................
Sources of Income— June 1 9 5 1 .....................................

40
40
43
43

Retirement and pension programs based on employment ..................
Major social insurance programs .......................... ........
Old-age and survivors insurance prog r a m .......... ............
Railroad retirement and survivor benefit p r o g r a m .... .........
Public retirement and pension systems ............................
Federal civil service retirement system .......................
State and local government systems ...........................
Pension plans in private industry .................................

45
45
45
46
46
46
46
49

Extent to which workers eligible for pensions continue in employment ..
0ASI experience..................................................
Experience under the Railroad Retirement Act .................... .

50
50
51

Job experience of older workers ......................................
Productivity ......................
Absenteeism and injuryexperience..... ............................
Protective clauses incollectivebargaining agreements ............
Age limits in hiring ........... .*................................
The role of counseling and placement services ....................

52
52
52
53
53
55

Pertinent publications of the Department of Labor

57




TABLES

Population Trends
Number
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Page

Population of the United States by age and sex, 1900-50......
Percent distribution of the population of the United States by
age and sex, 1900-1950 ....................... .
Urban-rural distribution of the total population and of the
population 65 years and over, 1900-1950 .................
Percent changes in population grovth by region and age
group, 1940-50 ....................................... ••
Population 65 years and over, by State, April 1950 and percent
of total population, 1940 and 1950 ....... .......
Age distribution of the population for selected standard
metropolitan areas, 1950, and percent change since 1940 ••
Population 14 years of age and over by age and sex, 1950
and projected 1975 .......................................

2
3
7
8
11
12
13

Trends in the Labor Force
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.

Age distribution of the labor force by sex, 1890-1950 ...... .
Percent of population 45 years and over in the labor force,
by age and sex, 1890-1950 ................................
Labor force status of older age groups in the civilian
noninstitutional population, April 1952 and April 1945 •••
Percent distribution of the labor force by occupational
group, 1910 - 5 0 ................... .......................
Number of employed persons by major occupational group,
age, and sex, April 1 9 5 1 ................................
Percent distribution of employed persons by major
occupational group, age, and sex, April 1951 .............
Percent distribution of workers with wage credits under :0ASI,
by age group and last industry employed, 1948 ............
Distribution of employed persons by age group and class of
worker, April 1950 .......................................
Duration of employment on current jobs by age and sex of
workers, January 1 9 5 1 .......... ............. .
Percent of wage and salary workers in each age group seeking
work, by duration of unemployment, April 1940 ........ .
Unemployment rates for wage and salary workers by age group,
first quarter, 1948-52 ..................................
Major occupational group of previous job for persons in the
experienced labor reserve in March 1951, by age and sex..
Summary of work experience of persons in the labor reserve
in March 1951, by age and sex .................. .




IV

15
17
18
19
23
24
25
26
29
30
31
34
35

TABLES —

Continued

Life Expectancy and the Length of Working Life
Number
21.
22.

Page

Average number of years of life remaining at selected ages,
by race and sex, 1900, 1940 and 1949 ....................
Total life expectancy and work-life expectancy of male
workers at age 6 0 .......................... ............

36
38

Income and Sources of Income
23.
24.
25.

Distribution of families in the United States by total money
income and age of head, 1950 ...........................
Distribution of persons 14 years and over by total money
income, age, and sex, 1950 .................................
Estimated number of persons aged 65 and over receiving
income from specified source, June 1951

41
42
44

Retirement and Pension Programs Based on Employment
26.

Workers covered by pension plans under collective bargaining
agreements by major industry groups, mid-1950 ......... .

49

Job experience of older workers
27.

Work injury and absenteeism rates in manufacturing industries
by age group, 1945 ........................................

52

CHARTS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Population changes, by agegroup 1900-1950 ..................
Changing proportion of age groups in the population,
1900-1950 ............................................ ..
Regional variations in population growth, 1940-50, all ages
and 65 and o v e r ............................... .
Percent of men and women aged 45 years and over in the labor
force, 1890-1950 .......................................
Occupational trends,1910-1950 ......
Total life expectancy and work-life expectancy, male
workers, age 6 0 ........................................




V

U
5
9
16
20
39




E M P L O Y M E N T
OF

A N D

E C O N O M I C

OLDER M E N

A N D

STATUS

W O M E N

PO LA N T E D
PU TIO R N S
Increases la Humber and Proportion o f Older Persona
Profound changes in the age structure o f the population o f the
United States hare accompanied the growth o f the to ta l population, which
almost doubled between 1900 and 1950. One o f the nost significant changes
has been the increase in the number and. proportion o f persons 45 years o f
age and ever.
In 1900, about 3 m illion persons, or 1 in 25, were aged 65 and
over. In 1950, those aged 65 and over totaled almost 12-1/2 m illion, or
about 1 out o f 12.
In 1900, persons between 45 and 6 4 numbered nearly 10-1/2
m illion, or about 14 percent o f the tota l population. By 1950, this age
group had increased to 30-1/2 m illion, about on e-fifth o f the to ta l popu­
lation .
Between 1900 and 1950, the proportion o f persons in the to ta l
population 45 years o f age and over had increased from 13 to 23 percent.
In 1950, fo r the fir s t time, there were more women than men in
the tota l population. The excess o f women over men totaled 1.5 m illion.
W en 65 years and over, because o f their greater longevity, exceeded men
om
o f the same ages by almost a m illion. In 1950, there were 116 women aged
65 and over in the population for every 100 men o f the same ages. In 1900
there were 96 women for every 100 men in this age group.
Underlying these changes in the age structure o f the population
have beens the long-term decline in the birth rate, the cessation o f
large-scale immigration, and the increases in longevity resulting from
Improvement o f liv in g standards and advances in medical science, partic­
ularly the effectiv e oontrol o f epidemic infectious diseases.
Population changes, by age group, from 1900 to 1950, are pre­
sented in tables 1 and 2 and charts 1 and 2.




1

T a b le 1 . — P o p u la t io n o f t h e U n ite d S t a t e s
1 9 0 0 -1 9 5 0

Age and sex

1900

1910

1920

b y A ge and S e x ,

1930

1940

1950

Percent
change
1900-1950

(in millions)
Total .............

76.0

92.0

105.7

122.8

131.7

150.7

98

Under 10 ...........
10-19 .............
20-34-.............
35-44-.............
4 5 - 5 4 .............
55-64 .............
65 and over ••••••••

18.1
15.7
19.5
9.2
6.4
4.0
3.1

20.4
18.2
24.2
11.7
8.4
5.1
4.0

23.0
20.1
26.5
14.2
10.5
6.5
4.9

24.1
23.6
29.9
17.2
13.0
8.4
6.6

21.3
24.1
32.9
18.3
15.5
10.6
9.0

29.6
22.1
35.0
21.2
17.3
13.2
12.3

64
41
79
130
170
230
297

Male •••••••«»«,»•••

38.8

47.3

53.9

62.2

66.1

74.6

92

Under 10 •••••••••••
10-19 .............
20-34 ......... .
35-44 .............
45-54 .............
55-64 .............
65 and over

9.1
7.9
9.9
4.9
3.4
2.0
1.6

10.3
9.1
12.5
6.2
4.5
2.7
2.0

11.6
10.1
13.2
7.4
5.7
3.4
2.5

12.2
11.9
14.8
8.8
6.8
4.4
3.3

10.8
12.1
16.2
9.2
8.0
5.4
4*4

15.1
11.0
17.1
10.5
8.6
6.6
5.7

66
39
73
1H
153
230
256

Female •••••••••••••

37.2

44.7

51.8

60.6

65.6

76.1

105

Under 10 •••••••••••
10-19 .............
20-34 .............
35-44 .............
45-54 ........... .
55-64
65 and over «•••••••

9.0
7.8
9.6
4.3
3.0
2.0
1.5

10.1
9.1
11.7
5.5
3.9
2.4
2.0

11.4
10.0
13.3
6.8
4.8
3.1
2.4

11.9
11.7
15.1
8.4
6.2
4.0
3.3

10.5
12.0
16.7
9.1
7.5
5.2
4.6

14*5
11.1
17.9
10.7
8.7
6.6
6.6

61
42
86
149
190
230
340

Data for 1900 to 1930 adjusted to include persons of unknown age.
Source:

U, S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United
Scates, 1789-194-5 and 1950 Census of Population, Preliminary
Reports, Series PC-7, No, 1,




2

T a b le

2 , — P e r c e n t D i s t r i b u t i o n o f t h e P o p u la t io n o f t h e U n ite d S t a t e s
b y A ge and S e x , 1 9 0 0 -1 9 5 0

1900

Age and sex

T o t a l ..................
Under 10
1 0 - 1 9 ...... ............
2 0 - 3 4 ..................
3 5 - 4 4 ...... ............
45-54 ..................
55-64 ...... ............
65 and over ••••••••••••.

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

23.8

22.2
19.8

21.8

19.6
19.2
24.3
14.0

16.2
18.3
25.0
13.9

19.6
14. 7
23.2
14.1
11.5
8.7

20.7

25.6
12.1
8.4
5.3
4.1

26.4
12.7
9.1
5.5
4.3

Male ....................

100.0

Undei* 1 0 ..... ..........
10-19 ..................
20-34 ...................
35-44 ..................
45-54 ..................
55-64 ..................
65 and over •••••••••«•••

23.4
20.4
25.5

Under 10 •••••••••••••••«
10-19 ..................
20-34 .... ..............
35-44 .......... ........
45-54 ..................
55-64 ..................
65 and over

Source:

0

10.6

4.6

6.9
5.4

11.8
8.0
6.8

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

21.8

21.5
18.8
24.5
13.7

19.6
19.1

16.3
18.3
24.5
13.9

6.2

6.3
4.6

14.2
10.9
7.1
5.3

12.1
8.2
6.7

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1O0.O

24.2
21.0
25.8

22.6

22.0

16.0

19.0

20.3
12.3
8.7
5.4
4.5

6.0

6.6

4.6

5.4

18.3
25.5
13.9
11.4
7.9
7.0

14.6

11.5

19.3
25.7
13.1
9.3

19.6
19.3
24.9
13.9
10.3

10.6

5.2
4.1

12.6
8.8

8.1
5.4
4.0

26.2

23.8

U. S. Bureau of the Census*

-

2- 9

-

-




3-

-

2-

-

9

8.2

20.3
14. 7
22.9
14.1
11.5
8.9
7.6

19.3
26.4
13.1
9.5
5.7
4.2

100.0

Female

2

19.0
25.1
13.4
9.9

O

3

—

5

2

23.5
14.1
11.4
8.7
8.7

Chart 1
.

P O P U L A T I O N

C H A N G E S ,

B Y

A G E

G R O U P

1 9 0 0 - 1 9 5 0
PERCENT CHANGE
1900-1950

11

A L L

A G E S

M illion s o f P e r s o n s
13 1 . 7

'
'<.» *
<■V*
„

, j

■
<
\ *<v f

> “
■

s s s is i

TOTAL
POPULATION
6 5

Y E A R S
A N D

O V E R

5 5 - 6 4
4 5 - 5 4

Y E A R S

3 5 -4 4

YEARS

2 0 -3 4

YEARS

10-19

179%

Y E A R S

YEARS

m

.. *

41%

64%
0 -9

YEARS

1900
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS




1930

1940

Figures for 1900 and 1930 adjusted
to include persons of unknown age.

4

1950
Source-

U.S. B U R E A U OF T H E C E N S U S

Chart 2.

C H A N G I N G
IN

T H E

P R O P O R T I O N
P O P U L A T I O N ,

O F

A G E

G R O U P S

1 9 0 0 - 1 9 5 0
NET CHANGE

POPULATION

1900-1950
- 0

+

6 5 YEARS
AND OVER
5 5 - 6 4 YEARS

4 5 - 5 4 YEARS

3 5 - 4 4 - YEARS

2 0 - 3 4 YEARS

10-19 YEARS

0 -9

YEARS

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS




Source:

5

U.S. B U R E A U OF T H E C E NSUS

The Trend Toward Urbanisation
Increasing urbanization of the population has accompanied its growth.
In 1900, the people of the United States were predominantly rural. By 1920,
about half the population was living in urban centers. By 1940, the urban pop­
ulation had reached almost 60 percent of the total, compared with 40 percent in
1900. In 1950, with a changed urban-rural definition, almost two-thirds of the
total population lived in urban areas.
The proportion of the population 65 years and over who live in urban
areas has followed the general population trend. Since 1930, the number of per­
sons 65 years and over who live in urban centers has exceeded those of rural
areas. In June 1950, about 65 percent of all persons 65 and over were living
in urban areas.
Table 3 presents the data on the urban-rural distribution of the pop­
ulation and explains the changed definition of "urban" classification used in
the 1950 Census.

R«crtnnal Variations in Population Growth. 1940-50
Table A and chart 3 show the significant variations, among geographic
regions, in the relative growth of different age groups which has accompanied
the general increase of the population between 194-0 and 1950. These variations
result from past trends in interstate migration and in birth and mortality rates.
While the population of the United States increased about 15 percent
in the decade 1940-50, the population 65 years and over increased 37 percent.
The largest relative increases in the oldest group occurred in the South Atlan­
tic, West South Central, the Mountain, and Pacific States.
The Mountain and Pacific States, with the largest increases in total
population, also had largest increases in the population aged 65 and over. In
the Pacific States, where the total population increased about 50 percent, the
population aged 65 and over increased 56 percent.
The comparatively larger increases, in some regions, of the dependent
population under 15 years of age, together with the potentially dependent popu­
lation aged 65 and over, have had significant social and economic implications.




6

Table 3.— Urban-Rural Distribution of the Total Population
and of the Population 65 Tears and Over,
1900-1950

Urban
Total

Tear and age

Number
(thousands)

All agest
1900 ........
1910 .........
1920 ........
1930 ........
1940 ........
1950 1/ .....

65 and overs
1900 ........
1910 ........
1920 ........
1930 ........
1940 ........
1950 1/ .....

75,995
91,972
105,711
122,775
131,669
150,697

3,080
3,950
4,933
6,634
9,019

12,322

Sural
Percent
of total

30,160

96,028
(2/)
1,693
2,339
3,524
5,073
7,973

Percent
of total

(thousands)

(thousands)

U , 999
54,158
68,955
74,424

Number

39.7
45.7
51.2

56.2
56.5
63.7

45,835
49,973
51,553
53,820
57,246
54,669

(2/)
42.9
47.4
53.1

(2/)
2,257
2,594

56.2

3,946
4,349

64.7

3,110

60.3
54.3

4 8 .8
43.8
43.5
36.3

(2/)
57.1

52.6
46.9
43.8
35.3

1/ The urban and rural population data for 1950 are not comparable with
data for earlier periods because of changes in the definition of urban res­
idence which added densely settled urban fringe areas and unincorporated
places of 2,500 inhabitants or sort. As a result of the changed definition,
the figure for the urban population in 1950 is about 8 million larger than
it would have been under the 1940 definition.
2/

Not available*

Sources

V. S. Bureau of the Census*
1900-1940s All ages, Historical Statistics of the
65 years and oyer, Sixteenth Census of
Population, Volume II, Characteristics
1950t 1950 Census of Population, Preliminary
PC-7, No. 1.




7

U. S., 1789-1945}
the U. S*, 1940
of the Population.
Reports, Series

T a b le

4 .,—

P e rc e n t C h a n g e s in
P o p u la t io n
a n d A g e G r o u p , 1 9 4 -0 -5 0 ,

G ro w th

b y

R e g io n

45 to 64
years

65 years
and over

5.4

16.7

36.6

19.9

2.7

10.9

27.0

9.5

17.4-

-.1

15.6

35.2

East North Central,.,

14-.2

26.8

5.1

14.6

31.8

West North Central,,,

-4.0

12.1

6.3

23.6

South Atlantic,••••••

18.9

21.6

12.0

26.2

44.3

East South Central,••

6.5

8.6

-.8

14.3

34.1

West South Central,,,

11.3

14-.6

2.1

21.6

43.8

Mountain, ...... ...»•

22.3

31.5

15.6

18.8

43.0

Pacific,........... .

48.8

8-4.6

38.9

35.7

56.4

All ages

Under 15
years

United States,,•••••.

14.5

24-.1

New England,,,.,,,,,,

10.4-

Middle Atlantic,•••••

Region

S o u rce *

15 to 44years

U . S . B u re a u o f th e C e n s u s , 1 9 5 0 C e n s u s o f P o p u la t io n , P
R e p o r t s , S e r ie s P C - 1 2 , P C - 7 , N o , 1 , a n d u n p u b lis h e d d a t a .




8

Chart 3.




REGIONAL VARIATIONS IN POPULATION GROWTH, 1940-50
All Ages and 65 and Over

PRE TC A G
ECN HNE
1940-50

U IT D S A E
N E TTS
36.6

S rce U.S. BUREAU OF
ou

9

THE CENSUS

Interstate Differences In Population 65 Years and Over
In April 1950, 8.2 percent of the total population was 65 years of
age and over, as compared with 6.8 percent in 1940. In six States, about 10
percent of the total population was aged 65 and over.
In general, as table 5 indicates, the highest proportion of persons
aged 65 and over are found in New England, the Great Plains States, and the
West Coast. In the Southern States, the proportion of persons 65 and over
tends to be relatively low.
These differences result from geographic variations in birth rates and
in mortality conditions, as well as from the effects of interstate migration.

Changes in Age Distribution in Selected Metropolitan Areas. 1940-50
Since 1940, the growth of certain metropolitan areas has been ac­
companied by more extreme changes in age distribution than has been true of
the country as a whole. Table 6 shows the wide variation among selected
metropolitan areas in the degree to which the age structure of the population
has changed in the last decade.
Although the total population aged 65 and over has increased 37
percent since 1940, this older age group increased 50 percent or more in 24
out of 57 metropolitan areas. In 15 areas, the increase was 60 percent or
more.
The economic implications of significant changes in the age distri­
bution of the population in certain metropolitan areas may be drawn from the
data presented in table 6. In some communities there have been disproportion­
ate increases among the older age groups and children under 10, resulting in a
comparative decline in the proportion of persons aged 25 to 64 , who character­
istically constitute almost 80 percent of the productive work force. Examples
of this sure found in the metropolitan areas of New York and northeastern New
Jersey, Rochester, St. Louis, and Toledo.




10

Table 5 •—P opulation 65 Tears and Over, by S ta t e , A pril 1950
and P ercent o f T otal P opulation, 1940 and 1950

P opulation 65 years and over
Geographic d iv is io n
and S tate

Total
. population

Number

(In thousands)
C ontinental U. S........................
New England*
Maine .............................................
New Hampshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Vermont .......................... ..
M a ssa c h u se tts.......................... ..
Rhode Islan d ..............................
C o n n e c tic u t.............................. ..
Middle A tla n tic !
New York .......................................
New J e r s e y ...................................
P e n n sy lv a n ia ..............................
E ast North C entrali
O h io ...............................................
I n d ia n a .....................................
I l l i n o i s .......................................
M ich igan ................................ ..
Wisconsin ................. ...................
West North Central!
M in n eso ta ........................
I o w a ............. .................................
M is s o u r i............................ ..
North Dakota ..............................
South Dakota ..............................
N eb rask a......................................
Kansas ...........................................
South A tla n tic !
D ela w are......................
Maryland .......................................
D is t r ic t o f Columbia . . . . . . .
V i r g i n i a ............... ..
West V irgin ia ............................
North Carolina ..........................
South Carolina ..........................
G e o r g ia ..................... ..
F lorid a .......................................
East South Central!
Kentucky .......................................
Tennessee .....................................
Alabama .......................................
M is siss ip p i ................................
West South Central!
Arkansas • • • • .......................... ..
L o u is ia n a ...........
Oklahoma............................ ..
T e x a s ........... .................................
Mountain!
Montana ................................ ..
I d a h o ............. ...............................
Wyoming........................................
Golorado .......................................
New Mexico ..................................
A r iz o n a ............. .............. ..
U t a h ...............................................
Nevada ...........................................
P a c ific !
W ashington............................ ..
Oregon ...........................................
C a l i f o r n ia ..................... ............

P ercent o f t o t a l population
1950

1940

150,697

12,322

8 .2

9H
533
378
4 ,691
792
2 ,0 0 7

94
58
40
469
70
177

1 0 .2
1 0.9
10.5
1 0 .0
8 .9
8 .8

9 .5
9 .9
9 .6
8 .5
7 .6
7.5

14,830

1,259
394
887

8 .5
8 .1
8 .4

6 .8
6 .7
6 .8

709
361
754

8 .9
9 .2
8 .7
7 .3
9 .0

4,335
10,498
7,947
3,934
8,712
6,372
3,435

462
310

6 .8
■■ ..... — .......... —f

7 .2
6 .3
7 .7

2,982
2,621
3,955
620
653
1,326
1,905

269
273
407
48
55
130
194

318
2,343
802
3,319
2,006
4,062
2,117
3,445
2,771

26
164
57
215
139
225
115
220
237

7. 1
6.5
6 .9
5 .5
5 .4
6 .4
8 .6

5 .1
6 .9

2,945
3,292
3,062
2,179

235
235
199
153

8 .0
7 .1
6 .5
7 .0

6 .7
5 .9
4 .8
5 .3

1,910
2,684
2,233
7,711

149
177
194
514

7 .8
6 .6
8 .7
6 .7

5 .5
5 .0
6 .2
5 .4

591
589
291
1,325
681
750
689
160

51
44
18
116

6 .5
6 .0
5 .0

44
42
11

8 .6
7 .4
6 .3
8 .7
4 .9
5 .9
6 .2
6 .9

4*4
4 .8
5 .5
6 .2

2,379
1,521
10,586

211
133
895

8 .9
8 .7
8 .5

8 .3
8 .5
8 .0

33

9 .0
1 0 .4
10.3
7 .8

8 .5
9 .8
1 0.2
8 .3
7 .0

Source * U. S. Bureau o f the Census, 1950 Census o f Population, Prelim inary Reports,
S e r ie s PC-12, PC-7, No. l,a n d unpublished data.




7 .8

8.4

tt

7 .6
9 .0
8 .6
6 .1
6 .9
8 .0
8 .7
7 .7

6 .8
6. 2
5 .8
5 .3
4 .4
4 .3

7 .7

Table 6*--/Age Distribution of the Population for Selected Standard Metropolitan Areas, 19$0,
and Percent Change Since 1940 1 /

Percent change, 1940-50

P srcent di.3tributio:n by age
Standard
metropolitan
area

All
ages

Under
10
years

10 to
24
years

25 to
64
years

65
years
and
over

Under
10
years

10 to
24
years

25 to
64
years

65
years
and
over
37

United States, total ....

100

20

22

50

8

39

-6

15

Akron, Ohio ...........
Albany-Schenectady-Troy,
N. Y.................
Allentown-BethlehemEaston, Pa...........
Atlanta, Ga............

100

53

7

69

-10

20

63

Birmingham, Ala........
Boston, Mass...........
Buffalo, N. Y ..........
Charleston, W. Va.......
Chicago, 111...........
Cincinnati, Ohio .......
Cleveland, Ohio ........
Columbus, Ohio ........
Dallas, Texas ..........
Dayton, Ohio ..........
Denver, Colo...........
Detroit, Mich..........
Duluth , iMinn*Superior, .?is. ••.....
Harrisburg, Pa.........
Hartford, Conn...... ..
Houston, T e x a s ........
Johnstown, Pa. ....... .

Miami, Fla. ........... .
Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Minn. • •........... .
New Orleans, La... ....
.
New York-Northeastern
New Jersey...........
New York portion ....
New Jersey portion....
Norfolk-Portsmouth, Va. ••
Omaha, Nebr.............

Portland, Oreg..........
Providence, R. I........
Richmond, Va............

San Antonio, Texas ......
San Francisco-Oakland,
Calif.................
Scranton, Pa....... .
Seattle, Wash........ .
Springfield-Holyoke, Mass.
Syracuse, N. Y. .........
Tampa-St. Pe tersburg, Fla.
Toledo, Ohio ...........
Utica-Rome, N. Y. ........
Washington, D. C ........
Wheeling, W. Va. Steubenville, Ohio .....
Wilkes-Barre—
Hazleton, Pa. ••••••••••
Worcester, Mass.........
Youngstown, Ohio ........

1 /

20

21

100

18

20

54

9

55

-7

7

21

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

17
20
18
20
17
18
23
17
17
18
18
18
20
20
20

20
22
22
23
20
21
24
20
20
18
21
22
22
21
22

54
51
53
50
52
54
47
57
53
57
52
53
51
52
53

9
6
7
6
10
8
5
8
9
8
9
6
7
8
6

34
6$
60
50
36
45
31
47
45
68
69
108
97
97
64

-19
6
•. •
-4
-11
-11
-8
-11
-2
?
-18
8
29
20
15
2

16

27
23
21
8
15
22
14
13
15
26
49
32
34
25

36
68
44
69
30
40
49
48
24
61
54
94
24
35
78

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

19
19
17
21
18
20
17
18
21
20
1$
17

19
22
18
22
20
24
19
17
21
22
17
20

51
51
56
53
53
47
55
55
50
51
59
56

10
8
9
5
8
8
.9
9
8
6
9
7

36
60
65
101
59
10
59
120
86
90
125
37

-28
-5
-17
28
-3
-25
-3
16
5
14
37
-9

-2
14
25
48
19
4
16
46
22
28
88
15

48
18
56
85
31
39
38
63
34
54
146
35

100
100
100

19
19
19

20
23
22

53
52
53

9
7
7

68
54
70

-4
8
...

14
23
21

35
45
52

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

16
16
17
19
19
17
17
18
17
18
17
16
23
21

20
20
19
25
22
21
21
18
21
20
18
20
24
20

56
56.
57
50
- 51
55
54
54
52
55
55
53
47
51

7
7
8
5
8
8
8
10
9
7
10
10
6
8

46
47
46
131
44
45
24
114
38
68
55
45
112
203

-12
-10
-17
52
-6
-10
-23
15
-15
-5
-19
-1
20
61

IO
7
17
67
10
17
13
34
11
26
10
12
41
86

40
38
47
63
29
26
51
51
28
56
39
69
63
56

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

19
17
19
16
17
15
18'
18
19

16
22
17
19
22
18
21
19
20

58
53
54
55
52
52
53
52
55

8
10
10
10
9
13
9
11
6

165
-5
136
45
50
78
50
49
104

17
-38
14
-21
10
-5
-20
30

47
-10
36
16
13
50
11
8
47

50
41
65
42
28
129

100

18

22

50

9

13

-26

100
100
100

17
18
19

23
19
21

53
52
53

8
10
8

-3
49
45

-36
-19
-22

I n c l u d e s s t a n d a r d m e t r o p o l i t a n a r e a s o f 2 5 0 , 0 0 0 i n h a b i t a n t s o r m o r e i n 1940.
1950, n o t s h o w n w h e r e l e s s t h a n 1.

Source:

U. S. B u r e a u o f t h e Cen s u s .




12

• ••

48

28
64
38

-3
9
18

P e r c e n t change,

1940 to

38
25
41

Population Estimates, 1950-75
Population growth during the next generation is expected to continue
to be accompanied by substantial increases in the number and proportion of
older persons. (See table 7.) The number of persons 45 and over is expected
to increase to about 63 million by 1975, when they may constitute nearly half
of all persons over 20 years of age. Persons 65 and over may number about 21
million, an increase of 69 percent over about 12 million in 1950. Because of
their increasing longevity, as compared with men, women aged 65 and over may
exceed men of the same ages by about 3-1/2 million, more than tripling the com­
parable excess of 1 million in 1950. Women 45 years and over may exceed men of
the same ages by almost 6 million.
Population growth among persons 14 and over will bring the smallest
relative increases in the group aged 25-44 years; It is this age group which
has the highest rate of participation in the productive work force.

Table 7.*— Population 14 Years of Age and Over by Age and Sex,
1950 and Projected 1975

Age and sex

1950
actual

1975
projected

Percent
change

(in thousands)
Total, 14 and over ••••••••

111,915

149,551

33.6

1 4 - 1 9 ....... .............
20-24 ....................
2 5 ^ 4 4 ....................
45-64 ....................
65 and over

12,876
11,327
44,945
30,445
12,321

16,486
15,553
54,093
42,593
20,826

28.0
37.3
20.4
39.9
69.0

Male, 14 and over •••••••••

54,923
6,398
5,457
22,164
15,193
5,711

72,313

31.7

8,357
7,813
27,272
20,237
8,634

30.6
43.2
23.0
33.2
51.2

77,238

35.5

8,129
7,740
26,821
22,356
12,192

25.5
31.9
17.7
46.6

14-19 ....................
20-24 ....... .............
25-44 ....................
65 and over
Female, 14 and over •••••••
14-19 ....................
20-24 ....................
25-44 .................. .
45-64 ................... .
65 and over ........... .

56,991
6,478
5,870
22,781
15,251
6,611

84.4

Source: 1950— 4J.S. Bureau of the Census, 1950 Census of Population, Pre­
liminary Reports, Series PC-7, No. 2. 1975— Estimated by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, based on assumptions of medium rates of fertility, mortality and
immigration implicit in Census Bureau's release P-25, No. 43, "Illustrative
Projections of the Population of the United States, 1950 to I960."




13

TRENDS IN THE LABOR FORCE

Aging of the Labor Force
Accompanying the aging of the population has been a similar change
in the age distribution of the labor force, as shown in table 8. In 1890,
about one-fourth of the working population was aged 45 and over. Today this
age group constitutes more than a third of the labor force. This proportion
is likely to increase significantly in future years.
Since 1890, the most significant changes in the age composition of
the labor force are found in the decline from 31 percent to 19 percent of the
proportion of persons 14 to 24 years of age, and the increase from 20 percent
to almost 30 percent of the proportion of those aged 45 to 64 . The latter age
group has registered especially large gains in the female labor force, much of
the change occurring in the last decade. Between 1940 and 1950, the proportion
of women workers 45 to 64 years of age rose from 20 to 27 percent. Thi3 in­
crease in one decade was as large as had occurred in the period 1890 to 1940.
There has been little significant change in the extent to which per­
sons 65 and over are represented in the labor force, although the proportion
of this age group in the population doubled between 1900 and 1950.

Changes in Labor Force Participation of Older Persons
Long-Term Trends — The rise in the proportion of the labor force
made up of persons 45 years of age and over has been somewhat slower, however,
than in the population as a whole. This has resulted from the declining trend
in labor force participation among older men, 55 years and over, and partic­
ularly among men past 65. Among women over 45, the trend has been.in the oppo­
site direction; since 1890 the percentage of all women of these ages who are
in the labor force has doubled from 11 to 22. Table 9 and chart 4 present the
changes from 1890 to 1950.
Men — In 1890 about two-thirds of all men aged 65 and over were in
the labor force. By 1940 this rate had dropped to slightly over two-fifths.
A number of industrial and occupational trends (discussed below) contributed
to the long-term decline in employment opportunities for older men. Super­
imposed upon these trends were the effects of the depression of the 1930’s,
which largely accounted for the particularly sharp drop in labor force partici­
pation among men 65 years of age and over between 1930 and 1940.
Women — Among women aged 45 to 64 , the trend in work activity has
been upward. Between 1890 and 1950, the participation of these older women
in the labor force increased sharply. The most significant- increase is found
among women aged 45 to 54, of whom 33 percent were in the labor force in 1950.
These trends reflect the social and economic forces which have led to increased
employment of women outside the home. However, the participation of women 65
years and over in the labor force remains quite low; fewer than 10 percent of
the women in this age group were working or seeking work in April 1950.




14

Table 8 .—Age D istribution o f the Labor Force by Sex,
1 8 9 0 -1 9 5 0
Age

and

se x

1890

1900

1920
N um ber

1930
(in

th o u sa n d s)

T o t a l , 1 4 a n d o v e r • » * •2 •1•, • 3 3
8
1 4 - 2 4 .................................... 6 , 7 5 5
2 5 - 4 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. , 7 2 9
.
4 5 - 6 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 . , 4 1 3
.
65 and o ver •••••••••»•»

2 7 ,6 4 0
8 ,5 4 5
1 2 ,3 5 1
5 ,6 3 0
31
1 9, 1 6 4

4 0 ,2 8 2 4 7 ,4 0 4
1 0 , 4 5 2 1 1 ,4 4 -9
1 8 ,6 6 7 2 1 ,9 0 2
9 ,6 0 0 2 ,0 1 5
1
2 ,0 3 8
1 ,5 6 3

M a l e , 1 4 a n d o v e r • • • • • 1• 8 ,•1 2 9
•
1 4 - 2 4 .................................... 4 , 8 3 3
2 5 - 4 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8. , 5 1 3
.
4 5 - 6 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 , 9 3 7
6 5 a n d o v e r • • • • • • • • • • • » 846

2 2 ,6 4 1
6 ,1 3 6
1 0 ,5 6 0
4 ,9 5 8
987

3 2 ,0 5 3
7 ,0 2 7
1 5 ,3 5 3
8 ,2 9 0
1 ,3 8 3

F e m a l e , 1 4 a n d o v e r • • • •3 •, • 0 4
7
1 4 - 2 4 .................................... 1 , 9 2 2
2 5 - 4 4 . .- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 , 2 1 6
4 5 - 6 4 .................................... 4 7 6
6 5 a n d e w er • •••«»•••<>»» 9 0

4 ,9 9 9
2 ,4 0 9
1 ,7 9 1
672
127

4 5 * ^ 4 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #20.2
65 and o ve r
4.3

44.6

1 0 0 .0
3 0 .9
4 4 .7
2 0 .4
4 .0

M a l e , 1 4 a n d o v e r • • • • » •100,0
••
1 4 - 2 4 .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26.7
2 5 - 4 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47.0
4 5 - 6 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.7
4.7
65 and o ve r

1 0 0 .0
2 7 .1
4 6 .6
2 1 .9
4 .4

1 4 a n d o v e r • • • »100.0
••
14-24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1 . 9
25^44. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2 . 8
45-64 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 . 9
65 and o v e r ••» •«••••••• 2 .4

F e m a le ,

5 3 ,2 9 9
11*737
2 4 ,9 2 4
1 4 ,5 0 4
2 ,1 3 4

3 7 ,0 0 8 4 0 ,2 8 4
7 , 5 4 27 , 6 5 4
1 7 ,4 9 8 1 8 ,8 1 7
1 0 ,1 7 3 1 1 ,9 5 4
1 ,7 9 5
1 ,8 5

5
1
2
1

9 ,8 5 7
1 ,1 0 7
8 ,1 5 4
7 ,7 U
2 ,8 8 2

4 3 ,5 3 3
7 ,1 5 7
2 0 ,6 4 4
1 3 ,3 5 3
9
2 ,3 7 9

8 ,2 2 9 1 0 ,3 9 6 1 3 ,0 1 5
3
4 ,0 8 3
3 ,4 2 5 3 ,9 0 7
7
3 ,3 1 4
4 ,4 0 46 ,1 0 7
4
1 ,3 1 0
2 ,5 5 0
1 ,8 4 2
180
243
275

P e rce n t

100,0
T o t a l, 1 4 and o ve r •*•••••
1 4 - 2 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30.9

1950

1940

1 6 ,3 2 3
,9 5 0
,5 1 0
,3 6 1
503

d is t r ib u t io n

1 0 0 .0
2 5 .9
4 6 .3
2 3 .8
3 .9
1 0 0 .0
2 1 .9
4 7 .9
2 5 .9
4 .3

1 0 0 .01 0 0 .0
2 2 .0
2 4 .2
4 6 .8
4 6 .2
2 7 .2
2 5 .3
4 .0
4 .3

1 0 0 .0
1 8 .6
4 7 .0
2 9 .6
4 .8

1 0 0 .0
1 9 .0
4 7 .3 4 6 .7
2 72 . 9 . 7
5
4 .9 4 .6

11 00 00 . .00
1 6 .4
4 7 .4
3 0 .7
5 .5

20.4

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0 1 0 0 .0
4 8 .2
4 1 .6 3 7 .6
3 5 .8 4 0 .3
4 2 .4
1 7 .7
1 5 .9
1 3 .4
2 .2
2 .3
2 .5

1 0 0 .0
3 1 .4
4 6 .9
1 9 .6
2 .1

1 0 0 .0
2 4 .2
4 6 .0
2 6 .7
3 .1

F ig u r e s d o n o t n e c e s s a r ily a d d t o g ro u p t o t a ls b e c a u se o f r o u n d in g .
F ig u r
p e r i o d s p r i o r t o 1 9 4 -0 a d j u s t e d t o i n c l u d e p e r s o n s o f u n k n o w n a g e .
D a ta r e f
A p r il,e x c e p t 1 8 9 0 (J u n e ), 1 9 0 0 (J u n e ), and 1 9 2 0 (J a n u a r y ),
S o u rce :




1 8 9 0 -1 9 4 .0 :
J o h n D . D u r a n d , L a b o r F o r c e i n t h e U n it e d S t a t e s ,
N ew Y o r k , S o c i a l S c ie n c e R e s e a r c h C o u n c i l , 1 9 4 8 .
1950:

U , S . B u re a u o f th e C e n su s, 1 9 5 0 C e n su s
P r e lim in a r y R e p o r t s , S e r ie s P C - 7 , N o , 2 ,
in c l u d e A rm e d F o r c e s o v e r s e a s .

15

189

o f P o p u la t io n ,
D a ta a d ju s t e d

t

Chart 4.

PERCENT

OF

MEN
IN

Percent

45-54

AND

THE

W OM EN

LABOR

AGED

FORCE,

55-64

45

YEARS

AND

OVER

1 8 9 0 -1 9 5 0

65 Years and Over

P t
ercen

50

40

30

20

10

0*

SOURCE: U BU
.S. REAU O TH CEN S
F E
SU

U ITED STATES DEPARTM
N
ENT O LABOR
F
BU
REAU O LABOR STATISTICS
F




*1910 D TA N T CO PARABLE
A
O
M
TO O ER YEARS
TH

16

Table 9 .—Percent o f Population 45 Tears and Over
in the Labor Force, by Age and Sex,
1890 - 1950

Age and sex

1890

1900

1920

1930

1940

1950

M
en
45 and over ............... .
45-54 ............................
55-64 ............................
65 and o v e r ............... .

86.7
93.9
89.0
68.2

92.8
86.1
63.2

8 4 .3

83.2
.93.5
86.3
55.6

82.5
93.8
86.5
54.0

77.7
92.7
42.2

75.2
91.7
82.9
41.6

W en
om
45 and over
45-54 ............................
55-64 ............................
65 and over .................

11.1
12.5
11.5
7.6

12.3
14.2
12.6
8.3

14.3
17.9
14.3
7.3

15.4
19.7
15.3
7.3

16.3
22.4
16.6
6.0

22.2
33.0
22.8
7.6

8 4 .6

Figures for periods prior to 1940 adjusted to include persons o f unknown age*
Data refer to April, except 1890-1900 (June) and 1920 (January).
Source:

1890-1940:
1950:

John D. Durand, The Labor Force in the United States,
1890-1960, New York, Social Science Research Council,
1948.
D. S. Bureau o f the Census, 1950 Census o f Population,
Preliminary Reports, Series PC-7, Ho* 2* Data adjusted
to include Armed Forces overseas*

Recent Trends — The expansion in employment opportunities during
World W II brought a significant increase in labor force activ ity nmnng per­
ar
sons over 45, as well as for other population groups. In April 1945, there
were about 2— m illion "extra” workers in the labor force, 45 years and over,
1/2
above the number that would have been expected had prewar trends continued.
About 1— m illion of these "extra” older workers were women and about 1 mil­
l/2
lion were men.
However, even under the pressure o f a wartime labor market, there was
evidence o f reluctance by employers to hire older workers until supplies o f
younger men were exhausted. Moreover, in the fir s t 2 years o f the war, employ­
ment discrimination against older women was especially persistent.




17

Table 10 shows the labor force status o f older men and women in the
civ ilia n noninstitutional population in April 1952, with the comparative rates
at the peak of World War II employment in April 194-5*
The rates of labor force participation among men 55 years of age and
over in April 1952 were well below wartime lev els. The decline in the rate
fo r men 65 years o f age and over, with only 42 percent of men of these ages in
the labor force as compared with 51 percent in April 194-5, has been particu­
la rly sharp. In fa ct, the rate fo r men 65 and over in April 1952 is below the
rate of 4-6 percent fo r this age group fo r April 1950, prior to the expansion
in employment which followed the outbreak of h o stilitie s in Korea. The current
data re fle ct the continuation of a long-time trend that was temporarily re­
versed during the extreme manpower shortages of World War II*
By April 1950 women between the ages of 4-5 and 64 had again attained
their high wartime rate of labor force participation which had declined after
1945* In April 1952 almost 40 percent of women aged 45 to 54, and about 27
percent o f women aged 55 to 64, were in the labor fo rce. Their increased par­
ticipation continues a long-term trend which was accelerated by manpower de­
mands of World W I I . Among women past 65 years of age the proportion in the
ar
labor force has remained at about the level in April 1952 — 8.2 percent —
throughout the post-World W II period*
ar
Table 10,—Labor Force Status o f Older Age Groups
in the Civilian Noninstitutional Population, April 1952 and April 194-5
C ivilian noninstitutional
population, April 1952

Percent o f population
in labor force 1 /

Age and sex
Total

In labor
force

Not in
labor force

April
1952

April 1945
(wartime)

(in thousands)
Total 45 and o v e r .... 43,536

22,564

20,972

51.8

55.1

Men 45 and over.••••• 21,04445-54........................ 8,632
5 5 * ^ 4 * ............• 6,784
5,628
65 and over...........

16,562
8,288
5.920
2,354

4,482
344
864
3,274

78.7
96.0
87.3
41.8

84.0
97.3
92.0
51.2

W en 45 and over*..* 22,492
om
45-54........................ 9,028
55-64*....................... 7,064
65 and over............ 6,400

6,002
3,558
1.920
524

16,490
5,470
5,144
5,876

26.7
39.4
27.2
8.2

26.6
37.0
27.4
9.6

1 / Not comparable with data in table 9, which are based on total population
and total labor force. Beginning with January 1951, data on tota l labor
force (including Armed Forces) are not available for publication*
Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census.




18

Industrial and Occupational Trends
E ffect o f Long-Term Occupational Trends — Changes in the occupa­
tional and industrial distribution o f employment in the United States, over a
period o f decades, have had the net effect o f restrictin g employment opportu­
n ities o f older workers. The sh ift from a rural to a highly industrial economy
is reflected in the long-term decline of farm employment and in the expansion
o f such occupations as semiskilled operatives and cle rica l and sales workers*
These two expanding occupational field s today have a low proportion o f employed
workers 45 years o f age and over, in comparison with other occupational groups.
(See tables 12 and 13.)
Table 11 and chart 5 show the changes in the occupational composi­
tion o f the experienced labor force from 1910 to 1950.
Table 11.—Percent Distribution o f the Labor Force by Occupational Group,
1910-50

Group

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

Total .....................................................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Professional persons ..........................
Proprietors, managers, and o ffic ia ls
Farmers (owners and tenants) ........
Proprietors, managers, and
o ffic ia ls (except farm) .............
Clerks and kindred workers ...............
Skilled workers and forem en.........
Semiskilled workers ............................
Unskilled workers ...............................
Farm la b o re rs..................................
Laborers, except farm .....................
Service w orkers...............................

4.4
23.0
16.5

5.0
22.3
15.5

6.1
19.9
12.4

6.5
17.8
10.1

7.5
16.3
7.5

6.5
10.2
11.7
14.7
36.0
14.5
14.7
6.8

6.8
13.8
13.5
16.1
29.4
9.4
14.6
5.4

7.5
16.3
12.9
16.4
28.4
8.6
12.9
6.9

7.6
17.2
11.7
21.0
25.9
7.1
10.7
8.0

8.8
20.2
13.8
22.4
19.8
4.6
7.8
7.4

Figures do not necessarily add to group totals because o f rounding.
Source: 1910-40: U. S. Bureau o f the Census, Comparative Occupation
S tatistics for the United States, 1870-1940.
1950: Estimated by the Bureau o f Labor S tatistics from
Census data.

209329 0 —52----- 4




19

Chart 5.

OCCUPATIONAL TRENDS, 1910 -1950
P R E T OF TOTAL W
ECN
ORKERS ENGAGED IN EACH F L
IE D
F A R M A N D U N S K IL L E D L A B O R O C C U P AT IO N S D E C L IN E D ...

S K IL L E D W O R K E R S H E L D THEIR O W N ...

ALL

O TH E R F IE L D S IN C R E A S E D ...

I9I0

I920

I930

I940

I950

I9I0

SERVICE WORKERS

T930

I940

I950

Suc: U. S. BUREAU OF THE CENSUS.
o re
15 ESTIMATED BY BUREAU OF
90

U IT D STATES D
N E
EPAR E T O LABOR
TM N F
B R A O LABO STATISTICS
UEU F
R




1
920

PROFESSIONAL PERSONS

LABOR STATISTICS.

!

2 0;

E m p lo y m e n t

h r

O c c u p a t io n ,

In d u s t r y ,

T h e r e la t iv e
p r o p o r t io n
o c c u p a t io n s o f f e r a g u id e a s t o
m e n t o p p o r t u n it ie s .
D if f e r e n c e
d u s t r y a n d o c c u p a t io n m a y b e d u
e m p lo y m e n t t r e n d s , t h e r e l a t i v e
e m p lo y e d , a n d t h e a m o u n t o f t r a
o f w o rk .

s

a n d

C la s s

o f

W o rk e r

o f o ld e r w o r k e r s i n
v a
t h e t y p e s o f w o rk in
w
s
in
t h e a g e d is t r ib u t io
e to
a w id e r a n g e o f f a c
a g e o f a n in d u s t r y , t h e
in in g
o r e x p e r ie n c e r e q u

r io u
h ic h
n
o
t o r s
p ro
ir e d

s

in d
th e y
f w o rk
in c lu
p o r t io
in
a

Occupation. Tables 12 and 13 show the occupational d istrib u tion o f men and
women in various age groups who were employed in A p ril 1951. The data show
that the occupational d istrib u tion o f workers va ries considerably with age
fo r both men and women. Among men, there is a marked increase in the re la tiv e
proportion o f those employed at ages 45 and over in the occupational groups o f
serv ice workers and farm and nonfarm managers and p rop rietors. Older women,
in comparison with younger age groups, are concentrated to a large extent in
serv ice occupations.
Men — The la rg est proportion o f employed men aged 45-64 years are
found among craftsm en, nonfarm managers and p rop rietors, and op era tives. These
are the occupational groups in which the la rg est r e la tiv e proportions o f em­
ployed men o f a l l ages are found. At age 65 and over, the la rg est proportion
o f men are employed as farmers and farm managers, nonfarm p rop rietors and
managers, and craftsm en.
Operatives and kindred workers con stitu te the occupational group
showing the sharpest decrease in the proportion o f old er men employed. Al­
though about one-fourth o f a l l employed men aged 14-44 work as op eratives,
only 10 percent o f those 65 and over work in th is occupational f i e l d , The
proportion o f men employed as service workers in creases markedly with age.
Less than 5 percent o f men aged 25-44 are employed as serv ice workers, and
more than 11 percent o f those 65 and over are found in th is occupational
f i e ld .
Women — The la rg est proportion o f employed old er women are private
household and serv ice workers. Among employed women 25-44 years o f age, le s s
than a f i f t h work in these occupations. The proportion increases to almost
30 percent o f a l l employed women 45 to 64, and to more than 40 percent o f the
women 65 years and over who are working.




21

More than a quarter o f a l l employed women work in c le r ic a l and re­
la ted jo b s . But the proportion o f women in each age group who are c le r ic a l
workers in d ica tes that these jobs are r e la tiv e ly unavailable to old er women.
Almost h a lf the employed women under 24 are c le r ic a l workers; le s s than a
f i f t h o f the employed women 45 to 6 4 years o f age are engaged in c le r ic a l
or rela ted work.
Almost a fourth o f employed women between the ages o f 25 and 44work as sem iskilled fa ctory workers and other op era tives. However, in the
age group 45-64 years, the proportion d eclin es and, among employed women 65
and over, only 1 out o f 10 works in th is occupational f i e ld .
Industry. As shown in table 14* there were wide va ria tion s in the age d is­
trib u tio n o f workers employed, in 1948, in in d u stries covered by old-age and
survivors insurance.
The proportion o f employed workers 45 years and over ranged from
a high o f about 50 percent in re a l estate firm s, and 44 percent in anthra­
c it e mining, to le s s than 20 percent in the telephone and telegraph and
automobile repair in d u stries. Among major manufacturing in d u stries, the
la rg est proportion o f older workers was found in : ordnance, leather and
leath er products, lumber and wood products, apparel, primary m etal, and
machinery (except e le c t r ic a l) in d u stries.




2 2

Table

12*—

Number

of

Deployed

Persons

Age,

Sex,

and

b y

April

Major

Occupational

G r o u p ,

1951

( I n th o u s a n d s)
Age
M ajor o c c u p a t io n a l g rou p

T o t a l em ployed .......................................
P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , and
k in d r e d w o rk ers ...........................
F arm ers and farm m anagers • • • •
M an agers, o f f i c i a l s , and p ro ­
p r i e t o r s , e x c e p t farm . . . . . .
C l e r i c a l and k in d r e d w o rk ers •
S a l e s w o rk ers .....................................
C ra ftsm en , fo rem en , and
k in d r e d w o rk ers ...........................
O p e r a t iv e s and k in d r e d w o rk ers
P r i v a t e h o u se h o ld w o rk ers • • • •
S e r v ic e w o rk ers, e x c e p t p r i v a t e h o u s e h o ld • ...............
Farm l a b o r e r s and fo rem en • • • •
L a b o r e r s , e x c e p t farm and m ine
T o t a l em p loyed m a le s .........................
P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , and
k in d r e d w o r k e r s .............
F arm ers and farm m anagers • • • •
M an agers, o f f i c i a l s , and p r o p r i e t o r s , e x c e p t f a r m .......... ..
C l e r i c a l and k in d r e d w o rk ers •
S a l e s w o r k e r s . . . • • • .......................
C ra ftsm en , fo rem en , and
k in d r e d w o r k e r s ......................... ..
O p e r a t iv e s and k in d r e d w o rk ers
P r i v a t e h o u s e h o ld w o rk ers . . . .
S e r v ic e w o r k e r s , e x c e p t p r i ­
v a t e h o u s e h o ld
Farm l a b o r e r s and fo rem en . . . .
L a b o r e r s , e x c e p t farm an d m ine
T o t a l em p loyed f e m a le s • « • • • • • • •
P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , and
k in d r e d w o r k e r s ............... • • • • •
Farm ers and farm m anagers • • • •
M a n agers, o f f i c i a l s , and p ro ­
p r i e t o r s , e x c e p t farm . . . . • •
C l e r i c a l and k in d r e d w o r k e r s •
S a l e s w o r k e r s ............... .....................
C ra ftsm en , fo rem en , and
k in d r e d w o rk ers ...........................
O p e r a t iv e s and k in d r e d w o rk ers
P r i v a t e h o u se h o ld w o r k e r s . . . .
S e r v ic e w ork ers, e x c e p t p r i­
v a t e h o u s e h o ld .............................
Farm l a b o r e r s and fo rem en . . . .
L a b o r e r s , e x c e p t farm and m ine

65 and

T o ta l, H
and o v e r

4 5 -6 4

over

2 7 ,8 1 3

1 8 ,8 7 5

2 ,9 1 1

$60
296

2 ,6 3 3
1 ,6 3 6

1 ,3 8 7
1 ,7 2 8

192
490

6 ,2 a
7 ,5 7 4
3 ,6 1 8

203
2 ,2 7 9
799

2 ,8 0 4
3 ,5 3 0
1 ,6 7 2

2 ,7 7 3
1 ,6 3 4
978

46 2
131
169

8 ,4 9 1
1 2 ,5 7 0
1 ,9 2 1

78*
2 ,3 3 6
4H

4 ,3 3 2
6 ,6 3 2
633

3 ,0 0 3
3 ,3 1 0
729

374
293
147

4 ,5 2 0
2 ,3 3 9
3 ,8 5 0

778
959
1 ,0 3 8

1 ,7 0 9
725
1 ,5 1 0

1 ,6 7 7
534
1 ,1 2 4

357
118
179

4 2 ,1 5 4

6 ,3 5 2

1 9 ,7 5 3

1 3 ,6 9 7

2 ,3 5 2

2 ,9 8 7
3 ,9 4 4

230
288

1 ,7 7 1
1 ,5 5 8

846
1 ,6 2 7

139
471

5 ,2 0 2
2 ,6 4 3
2 ,3 5 4

161
555
476

2 ,3 3 6
1 ,2 6 8
1 ,1 5 2

2 ,3 2 6
729
595

380
91
131

8 ,2 8 0
8 ,8 3 3
49

745
1 ,6 7 4
13

4 ,2 2 4
4 ,6 7 4
10

2 ,9 5 4
2 ,2 5 0
18

359
236
8

2 ,3 7 7
1 ,7 3 1
3 ,7 5 3

349
861
1 ,0 0 1

832
450
1 ,4 7 8

933
324
1 ,0 9 5

264
95
179

1 7 ,8 9 0

4 ,0 9 3

8 ,0 6 0

5 ,1 7 8

559

1 ,7 8 4
205

33 0
8

862
78

540
101

53
19

42
1 ,7 2 4
323

468
2 ,2 6 2
520

446
905
38 3

82
40
38

211
3 ,7 3 7
1 ,8 7 2

39
662
401

108
1 ,9 5 9
623

49
1 ,0 5 9
711

15
57
139

2 ,1 4 3
608
97

429
98
37

877
275
32

744
211
29

93
23

1 4 -2 4

2 5 -4 4

6 0 ,O U

1 0 ,4 4 5

A , 771
4 ,H 9

1 ,0 3 9
4 ,9 3 1
1 ,2 6 4

.

•e •

E s tim a t e s a r e s u b j e c t t o sa m p lin g v a r i a t i o n w h ich may b e l a r g e i n o a s e s w h ere t h e
q u a n t i t i e s shown a r e r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l . T h e r e fo r e , t h e s m a lle r e s t i m a t e s s h o u ld b e
u se d w it h c a u t i o n .
S o u rces




IF. S . B ureau o f t h e C en su s.

2 3

Table

13.—

Percent

Distribution

of

Age,

Baployed
and

Sex,

Persons
April

b y

Major

Occupational

Group,

1951

Age
M ajor o c c u p a t io n a l grou p

65 and

T o ta l, M
and o v e r

1 4 -2 4

2 5 -4 4

-15-64

over

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

7 .9
6.9

5 .4
2.8

9 .5
5.9

7 .3
9.2

6 .6
1 6 .8

1 0 .4
1 2 .6
6 .0

1 .9
2 1 .8
7 .6

1 0 .1
1 2 .7
6 .0

1 4 .6
8 .7
5 .2

1 5 .9
4 .5
5 .8

H .l
2 0 .9
3.2

7.5
2 2 .4
4.0

1 5 .6
2 3 .8
2.3

1 5 .9
1 7 .5
3.9

1 2 .8
1 0 .1
5.0

7 .5
3.9
6 .4

7 .4
9.2
9 .9

6 .1
2.6
5 .4

8 .9
2.8
6 .0

1 2 .2
4.1
6 .1

T o t a l em ployed m a le s .........................
P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , and
k in d r e d w o rk ers ................. • . • •
Farm ers and farm m anagers . . . .
M an agers, o f f i c i a l s , and p r o p r i e t o r s , e x c e p t farm .............
C l e r i c a l and k in d r e d w ork ers •
S a l e s w o rk ers ....................................
C ra ftsm en , fo r e m e n , and
k in d r e d w o rk ers ...................... ..
O p e r a t iv e s and k in d r e d w ork ers
P r i v a t e h o u s e h o ld w o rk ers • • • •
S e r v ic e w ork ers, e x c e p t p r i v a t e h o u se h o ld .............................
Farm la b o r e r s and forem en . . . .
L a b o r e r s, e x c e p t farm and m ine

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

7 .1
9.4

3 .6
4.5

9 .0
7.9

6 .2
1 1 .9

5 .9
2 0 .0

1 2 .3
6 .3
5 .6

2 .5
8 .7
7 .5

1 1 .8
6 .4
5 .8

1 7 .0
5 .3
4 .3

1 6 .2
3 .9
5 .6

1 9 .6
2 1 .0
.1

1 1 .7
2 6 .4
.2

2 1 .4
23.7
.1

2 1 .6
1 6 .4
.1

1 5 .3
1 0 .0
.3

5 .6
4.1
8 .9

5 .5
1 3 .6
1 5 .8

4 .2
2 .3
7 .5

6 .8
2 .4
8 .0

1 1 .2
4 .0
7 .6

T o t a l em ployed f e m a le s ....................

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 .0
1.1

8 .1
.2

1 0 .7
1.0

1 0 .4
2.0

9 .5
3.4

5 .8
2 7 .6
7 .1

1 .0
4 2 .1
. 7 .9

5 .8
2 8 .1
6 .5

8 .6
1 7 .5
7 .4

1 4 .7
7 .2
6 .8

1 .2
2 0 .9
1 0 .5

1 .0
1 6 .2
9 .8

1 .3
2 4 .3
7 .7

.9
2 0 .5
1 3 .7

2 .7
1 0 .2
2 4 .9

1 2 .0
3.4
.5

1 0 .5
2.4
.9

1 0 .9
3.4
.4

14 * 4
4.1
.6

1 6 .6
4.1
• *•

T o t a l em p loyed .......................................
P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , and
k in d r e d w o r k e r s ...........................
F arm ers and farm m anagers . . . .
M an agers, o f f i c i a l s , and p r o p r i e t o r s , e x c e p t farm • • • • . .
C l e r i c a l and k in d r e d w ork ers .
S a l e s w o rk ers .....................................
C ra ftsm en , fo r e m e n , and
k in d r e d w o r k e r s • • • • • • • • • • • .
O p e r a t iv e s and k in d r e d w ork ers
P r i v a t e h o u s e h o ld w ork ers . . . .
S e r v ic e w ork ers, e x c e p t p r i v a t e h o u s e h o l d .............................
Farm la b o r e r s and forem en • • • •
L a b o r e r s , e x c e p t farm and m ine

P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , and
k in d r e d w o rk ers
..........
Farm ers and farm m anagers . . . .
M an agers, o f f i c i a l s , and p ro­
p r i e t o r s , e x c e p t farm .............
C l e r i c a l and k in d r e d w ork ers •
S a l e s w ork ers • ................. ..
C ra ftsm en , fo r e m e n , and
k in d r e d w o r k e r s ...........................
O p e r a t iv e s and k in d r e d w o rk ers
P r i v a t e h o u s e h o ld w ork ers . . . .
S e r v ic e w ork ers, e x c e p t p r i* a t e h o u s e h o ld • ........................ ..
Farm la b o r e r s and forem en . . . .
L a b o r e r s , e x c e p t farm and m ine

E s tim a t e s a r e s u b j e c t t o sa m p lin g v a r i a t i o n w h ich may be l a r g e i n o a s e s w here t h e
q u a n t i t i e s shown a r e r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l . T h e r e fo r e , t h e s m a lle r e s t i m a t e s s h o u ld b e
u s e d w it h c a u t i o n .
S ource:




U. S . B u reau o f t h e C e n s u s .

2 4

‘

Table

H i*— P e r c e n t D i s t r i b u t i o n o f W orkers w it h Wage C r e d it s U nder OASI, b y Age Group
and L a s t I n d u s tr y E m ployed, 19U8

T o ta l, 1 /
a ll
ages

I n d u s tr y

T o ta l 7

Under
1*5
years

U5 y e a r s and o v e r
T o ta l

*

1*5-61*
years

6J y e a r s
and o v e r

j.....................................................................................................

1 0 0 .0

7 3 .0

27.0

2 3 .9

3 .1

M i n i n g ............... ...........................................* ..............
M e ta l m in in g .............................................. • • • • • ................ ..
A n t h r a c it e m in in g * ............... * .......................................... ..
B itu m in o u s and o t h e r s o f t - c o a l m in in g ............... • • • •
Crude p e tr o le u m and n a t u r a l - g a s p r o d u c tio n • • • • • •
N o n m e ta llic m in in g and q u a r r y in g • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • *

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

6 6 .9
6 5 .7
5 5 .2
6 5 .1
73.6
6 8 .2

3 3 .1
3 U .3
til*. 8
31*. 9
26 . l i
3 1 .8

3 0 .0
30.1*
1*1.1
3 1 .6
2U .6
2 7 .5

3 .1
3 .9
3 .8
3 .3
1 .8
U .3

1 0 0 .0

7 0 .3

2 9 .7

2 6 .5

3 .2

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
■' 1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

7 1 .5
6 7 .9
7 3 .8
7 3 .1
7 1 .2
6 9 .5
6 8 .8
7 1 .lt
73.5
7 1 .9
72.9
7 1 .2
7 lt.2
6 9 .5
7 2 .1
6 7 .7
73.3
6 8 .7
77.8
7 0 .lt
7 5 .0
7 1 .8

2 8 .5
3 2 .1
2 6 .9
2 8 .8
3 0 .5
3 1 .2
2 8 .6
2 6 .5
2 8 .1
2 7 .1
2 8 .8
2 5 .8
3 0 .5
27.9
3 2 .3
2 6 .7
3 1 .3
22.2
29.6
2 5 .0
2 8 .2

2 5 .2
3 0 .1
2 3 .3
23.1*
25.1*
2 7 .1
2 6 .6
2 3 .8
23.1*
23.9
21*. 5
2 7 .8
2 3 .9
2 6 .0
21*. U
2 9 .2
2 3 .5
2 7 .3
2 0 .5
2 7 .0
2 2 .1
21*. 3

3 .3
2 .0
2 .9
3 .5
3 .U
3 .U
U .6
U .8
3 .2
U. 2
2 .6
1 .0
1 .9
U .5
3 .5
3 .1
3 .2
1 .0
1 .7
2 .6
2 .9
3 .9

M a n u f a c t u r in g ......................... ........................................ .....................
O rdnance and a c c e s s o r i e s ........................................................
Food and k in d r e d p r o d u c t s ................................................... ..
T ob acco m a n u fa c tu r e s • • • • ..................................... ................
T e x t i l e m i l l p r o d u c ts *.................... ........................................
A p p a rel and o t h e r f i n i s h e d p r o d u c ts
Lumber and wood p r o d u c ts ( e x c e p t f u r n i t u r e ) • • • * •
F u r n itu r e and f i x t u r e s ......................................................» • •
P aper and a l l i e d p r o d u c ts • • • • • ..................• • • • • • • * • »
P r i n t i n g , p u b l i s h i n g , and a l l i e d i n d u s t r i e s • • • • •
C h em ica ls and a l l i e d p r o d u c t s ............................................

L e a th e r and l e a t h e r p r o d u c ts • • * • • • • * • • • • ..................
S t o n e , c l a y , and g l a s s p r o d u c ts * • • • • • • • ....................
P rim a ry m e ta l i n d u s t r i e s • • • • • • « • • • . .............
F a b r ic a t e d m e ta l p r o d u c t s ......................................................
M a ch in ery ( e x c e p t e l e c t r i c a l ) • • • • ................................ ..
E l e c t r i c a l m a ch in e ry * ............................................................. ..
T r a n s p o r ta t io n eq u ip m en t *...............................................• • •
In s tr u m e n ts and r e l a t e d p r o d u c ts .....................................
M is c e lla n e o u s m a n u fa c tu r in g i n d u s t r i e s ......................

2 6 .2

T r a n s p o r t a t io n , co m m u n ication , and p u b li c u t i l i t i e s 3 /
L o c a l r a i l w a y s and b u s l i n e s ............... • • • • • • • • • • • • •
T r u c k in g and w a r e h o u s in g f o r h i r e ..................................
W ater t r a n s p o r t a t i o n ...................................................... • • • • •
O ther t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and a l l i e d s e r v i c e s • • • • • • * •
Com m unication: t e l e p h o n e , t e l e g r a p h , and
r e l a t e d s e r v i c e s • • • • • ........................... • • • • • • • • • • • • •
U t i l i t i e s and o t h e r p u b li c s e r v i c e s • * • • • • • • • • • • •

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

76.2
6 6 .2
78.3
7 0 .9
7 6 .5

2 3 .8
3 3 .8
2 1 .7
2 9 .1
2 3 .5

2 2 .0
3 0 .9
1 9 .7
2 5 .8
2 1 .6

1 .8
2 .9
2 .0
3 .3
1 .8

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

8 2 .8
6 8 .9

1 7 .2
3 1 .1

16.1*
2 9 .1

.8
2 .1

W h o le sa le and r e t a i l t r a d e * • • * • • • • * • • • • • • ....................
W h o le sa le t r a d e W ........................... ............................ ..
R e t a i l t r a d e * ...................................................................................

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

7 6 .6
73.2
77.8

2 3 .lt
2 6 .8
2 2 .2

2 0 .8
2 3 .8
1 9 .7

2 .6
3 .0
2 .5

F in a n c e , in s u r a n c e , and r e a l e s t a t e • • • • • • • • • • • * « • • •
Banks and o t h e r f i n a n c e a g e n c i e s , and
h o l d i n g co m p an ies * ........................... ......................................
I n s u r a n c e .............................................................................................
R e a l e s t a t e .....................................• • • • • • • • • • • • • * • • • • • • •

1 0 0 .0

6 5 .9

31*. 1

2 8 .6

5 .5

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

6 9 .8
7 6 . lj
5 0 .2

3 0 .2
2 3 .6
1*9.8

2 5 .6
21.1*
3 9 .9

U .6
2 .2
9 .9

S e r v ic e i n d u s t r i e s » • • ..................................... • • • • • • • ..............
H o t e ls and lo d g in g p l a c e s • • • • .............• • • • • • • • • • • * •
P e r s o n a l and b u s i n e s s s e r v i c e s . . . . ................................
A u tom ob ile and m is c e lla n e o u s r e p a ir s e r v i c e s • • • •
M otion p i c t u r e s • • • • • ...................... ........................................
Amusement, r e c r e a t i o n , and r e l a t e d s e r v i c e s ..........
O ther s e r v i c e i n d u s t r i e s ....................................... .............. ..

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

7 3 .lt
6 3 .5
7 5 .2
8 1 .1
78.2
77.3
7 1 .0

26.6
3 6 .5
21*. e
1 8 .9
2 1 .8
22.7
2 9 .0

23.2
3 0 .9
22.3
1 6 .7
1 8 .6
19.1*
2 5 .3

3.3
5 .6
2.5
2 .2
3 .1
3 .3
3 .7

H/

F ig u r e s do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y add t o t o t a l b e c a u s e o f rou n d in g*
I n c lu d e s w o rk ers c o v e r e d u n d er OASI i n a g r i c u l t u r e , f o r e s t r y , and f i s h i n g ; i n t e r s t a t e r a i l r o a d s ; e s t a b l i s h ­
m en ts n o t e ls e w h e r e c l a s s i f i e d ; and in d u s t r y n o t r e p o r te d *
E x c lu d e s w o rk ers w ith a g e n o t r e p o r te d *
E x c lu d e s i n t e r s t a t e r a i l r o a d s .
I n c lu d e s com bined w h o le s a le and r e t a i l t r a d e e s ta b lis h m e n ts *

Source:

B ased on t a b u l a t i o n o f 1 p e r c e n t sa m p le .
S u r v iv o r s I n s u r a n c e .




S o c i a l S e c u r i t y A d m in is tr a t io n , Bureau o f O ld-A ge and

25

Class o f Worker. Table 15 shows that the r e la tiv e importance o f s e l f employment r is e s sharply with age. Only 1 o f 8 employed persons under
age 4.5, and 1 in 4 aged 45 to 64 were classed as self-em ployed in A pril
1950, However, over tw o -fifth s o f those past 65 were in the self-em ployed
group.
Many workers tend to open th e ir own business, or work on th eir
own account, a fte r they acquire the re q u isite experJ ace or c a p ita l. In
p a rt, however, th is pattern is a lso the re su lt o f c-’ ta ile d opportuni­
t ie s fo r wage or sa la ried employment a t advanced ag--.au

Table 15 .— D istribu tion o f Employed Persons by Age Group
and Class o f Worker, A p ril 1950

A ge

Wage or
salary
workers

T otal 1 /

S e lfemployed
workers

Unpaid
fam ily
workers

Number (in thousands)
T ota l, 14 and over . . .
1 4 -4 4 ..........................
45 and over ..............
45-64 ......................
65 and over . . . . . .

58,668
37,800
20,872
17,981
2,891

46,381
31,705
14,679
13,092
1,587

10,614
4,840
5,776
4,534
1,242

1,675
1,258
422
358
64

Percent d istrib u tio n
T o ta l, 14 and over . . .
14-44 ••••••••••••••
45 and over ..............
45-64 ......................
65 and over ...........
1/

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

79.0
83.9
70.3
72.8
54.8

18.1
12.8
27.7
25.2
43.0

2 .9
3.3
2 .0
2.0
2.2

Figures do not n ecessa rily add to group to ta ls because o f rounding.

Source*

U. S. Bureau o f the Census.




26

D uration o f Employment on C urren t Jobs
The number of years employed on his current job is an important
factor in the employment status of the older worker, with especially signifi­
cant effects on seniority rights and related benefits based on length of serv­
ice. These include potential benefits under private pension programs which
are generally related to years of service with a particular employer.
The extent to which a large sector of the older working population
has no substantial protection based on length of service is indicated by a
sample survey made by the Bureau of the Census in January 1951. The study
sought to ascertain the length of time the approximately 59 million persons
employed in January 1951 had worked at their current jobs. For wage and sal­
ary workers, a job was defined in this survey as a continuous period of employ­
ment (except for vacations, strikes, short-term lay-offs, etc.) with a single
employer, even though the person may have worked at several different occupa­
tions while working for that employer.
Table 16 shows that duration of employment tended to vary directly
with age, but that, particularly in the older age groups, the average period
of job tenure was significantly greater for men than for women. Much of the
difference reflects the more intermittent character of the labor force par­
ticipation of women because of household and family responsibilities. The
presence of young children in the family group acts as a strong deterrent to
continuous employment on the part of the mother.
Ages 45-54 Years — In the age group 45-54- years about two-fifths
of almost 8 million men, and almost one-fourth of about 3 million employed
women had been on their current jobs since before World War II. Almost half
of all the workers of these ages had obtained their current jobs since Sep­
tember 1945 — about 40 percent of the men and almost 60 percent of the women.
The median number of years on their current jobs was 7.6 for men and 4.0 for
women workers in this age group.
Ages 55—6L Years — The data for men and women workers aged 55-64
reflect both the greater length of their working careers and the decreasing
tendency, with advancing years, to search for new job attachments. In this
age group almost 50 percent of about 5-1/2 million men and 30 percent of 1.7
million women had held their current jobs 10 years, or more. Equally signifi­
cant, however, is the substantial proportion of all workers of these ages




27

who obtained their current jobs since September 194-5 — more than 35 percent
of the men and more than 50 percent of the women. The data indicate that
workers of those ages who stayed in the labor force after VJ-day found new
jobs after the cessation of war production. However, they also reflect the
extent to which men and women of this age may have been exposed in recent years
to the special difficulties encountered by older workers in their efforts to
find employment. In addition, the data indicate that the majority of all work­
ers aged 55 to 64-, approaching the so-called wnormalt retirement age of 65» are
t
without long-standing job attachment. For men aged 55-64, the median number of
years on their current job was 9.3} for women it was 4.5 years.
Ages 65 and over — In the oldest age group the larger proportion
of both men and women who have held their current jobs more than 10 years, re­
flects their greater stability in employment. Among workers aged 65 and over,
about 55 percent of almost 2.2 million men and about 35 percent of about l/2
million women had held their current jobs since before World War II. However,
almost 30 percent of the men and 50 percent of the women obtained their cur­
rent jobs since September 1945. More than a fourth of the women 65 and over
had obtained their current jobs since January 1950.




28

Table 16.—Duration of Employment on Current Jobs by Age and Sex of Workers,
January 1951

Age
Date current job started

Total, 14
and over

65
55-64 and over

14-17

18-19

20-24

1,982
100.0
49.5
28.0
1.6
.9
.2
1*7

6,511 14,029 13,473 11,097
100.0 100.0 100*0 100.0
33.0
24.1
19.1
45.4
47.2
35.7
26.2
47.4
10.8
15.0
15.0
4.7
3.8
5.7
.5
5.9
.2
17.3
3.4
31.4
1.6
2.2
2*1
2.5
2.6
3*2
1.3
6.3

7,283
100.0
16.2
23.9
13.0
5.7
38.8
2.3
8.0

2,702
100.0
15.8
17.1
11.0
5.6
46.4
4.1
10+

3,954 10,104
100.0 100.0
47.0
29.7
45.6
51.3
9.8
4.4
.8
3.7
.3
3.9
1.5
1.9

9,424
100*0
21*2
36.2
15.3
6.0
19.1
2*1

7,909
100.0
16.7
23.6
14.6
6.4
36.2
2.4

5,550
100.0
14.6
21.0
12.8
5.6
43.6
2.4

2,164
100.0
13.2
15.4
11.0
5.5
50.8
4.1

2.8

4.5

7.6

9.3

2,557 ' 3,925
100.0 100.0
42.8
41.1
37.6
49.7
5.1
13.4
. •«
4.1
.2
2.2
1.8
2.3

4,049
100.0
30*9
34.4
14.2
5.0
12.9
2.6

3,188
100.0
24.6
32.6
16.1
4.5
19.5
2.7

1,733
100.0
21.2
33.1
13.9
6.1
23.5
2.2

538
100.0
26.5
24.2
10.6
6.3
28.6
3.9

1.8

3.1

4.0

4.5

4.9

Both sexes
Total (in thousands)*••••*•••*
Percent*#•••••••#*••••*••#••##
January 1950-January 1951* •*
September 1945-December 1949
December 1941-August 1945***
January 1940-November 1941#*
Before 1940***##*******##***
Not reported****************

59,010
100*0
29.0
35.0
11.6
4.4
17.6
2.3

Median years on current job###

3.4

1,932
100*0
65.4
25.3
4.2
.9
...
4.1
.7

Male
Total (in thousands)**********
Percent##•##•#*•••••••••••••*•
January 1950-January 1951*
September 1945-December 1949
December 1941-August 1945*••
January 1940-November 1941•
•
Before 1940***.*****..***.**
Not reported****************

a , 433
100*0
26*1
34.7
11.6
4.7
20.7
2.2

1,273
100*0
61*7
27*7
6.0
1.3
#••
3.3

1,055
100.0
68.7
25.2
2.8
1.6
.2
1.2

Median years on current job***

3.9

.8

.6

Female
Total (in thousands)*••••••*•*
Percent***•••*•*•*••••••«••••*
January 1950-January 1951* #•
September 1945-December 1949
December 1941-August 1945*«•
January 1940-November 1941* •
Before 1940*........................
Not reported****************

17,577
100*0
36.1
35.$
11.7
3.7
10.2
2.5

659
100.0
72.6
20.8
.9
...
#••
5.8

927
100.0
66.2
31.2
.2
«•*
.2
2.3

Median years on current job**#

2.2

.5

.6

.6

1.2

1.4

25-34

35-44

45-54

10+

Percent not shown where base is less than 100,000*
Source:

U. S* Bureau of the Census, Series P-50, N .36, Experience of Workers at their Current Jobs,
o*
January 1951#




29

E xtent and D uration o f Unemployment o f O lder Workers
Depression Experience. Under depression conditions, the employment problems
of the older workers are greatly intensified. In 194-0, following a decade of
depression, workers past age 4-5, along with the youth, had the highest rates
of unemployment. (See table 17.) The pattern of duration of unemployment
indicates that older workers were not being laid off at a greater rate than
younger persons. However, once unemployed, the older worker experienced
greater difficulty in finding another job*
About 8 million workers were unemployed at the time of the March 194.0
Census, which followed a decade marked by severe depression, partial recovery,
and the sharp recession of 1937-38. Long-term unemployment (as measured by the
proportion of wage and salary workers seeking work 6 months or more) was almost
twice as severe among men 55 years of age and over as among younger adult
workers between 25 and 44- years of age. Lack of job opportunities probably led
many older men to abandon the search for work, although still capable of work­
ing, and to withdraw from the labor force. The rate of labor force participa­
tion of male workers aged 65 and older dropped sharply frcm 5 - percent in 1930
4
to 4-2 percent in 194-0. (See table 9*)

Table 17.-— Fercent of Wage and Salary Workers in Each Age Group
Seeking Work, by Duration of Unemployment, April 1940

Total experienced wage
and salary
workers

Age

14-24..... .
25-34........
35-44........
45-54........
55-64........
65 and over...

Source:

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

Percent seeking work
Under
6 months

Total

7.5
4.4
3.8
4.1
4.5
3.9

14.5
8.9
8.5
10.3
13.6
13.1

6 to 11
months

3.4
1.8
1.8
2.1
2.8
2.6

12 months
and over

3.6
2.7
2.9
4.1
6.3
6.6

Adapted from Sixteenth Census of Population, 1940: The Labor
Force, Employment and Fersonal Characteristics, U. S. Bureau
of the Census*




30

Postwar Period* Even in 1948* a period of "minimum" unemployment generally,
unemployment rates for wage and salary workers aged 45 or over were higher
than for younger adults, and appreciably so for workers 65 and over. More­
over, the average duration of unemployment for workers aged 65 and over was
twice as great as for the teen-age unemployed, according to unpublished Census
data.
With the rise in unemployment after 1948, older workers were es­
pecially hard-hit. Between the first quarter of 1948 and the corresponding
period of 1950, the unemployment rate for all wage and salary workers in­
creased by SOpercent, and the rate for workers aged 45 and over almost
doubled. (See table 18.) This was partly because most of the industries that
experienced the greatest employment declines had especially large proportions
of workers of mature age, particularly men. There was evidence, too, of high­
er average duration of unemployment for older workers.
As shown in table 18, older workers have benefited, along with
other groups in the working population, from the expansion of employment op­
portunities that began in the spring of 1950 and gained momentum in the months
following the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. However, the unemployment
rates for workers 45 years and over in the first quarter of 1952 continued
above the rates for younger adult workers aged 25 to 44» and the group aged
65 and over continued to show the highest rate of unemployment among workers
25 years of age and over.

Table 18.— Unemployment Rates 1/ for Wage and Salary Workers
by Age Group, First Quarter, 1948-52

Age

14 and o v e r ......... .
1 4 - 2 4 ...................
25-44 ...................
45 and o v e r ........... .
45-64 .................
65 and over ...........

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

5.0
8.8
3.6
4.3
4.0
6.0

6.2
10.0
4.9
5.7
5.5
7.9

8.9
13.5
7.0
8.5
8.3
9.8

4.6
6.5
3.8
4.8
4.4
8.1

3.9
6.7
3.1
3.5
3.4
5.0

1/ Percent of wage and salary workers unemployed, estimated by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics from Census data. A breakdown for the unem­
ployed by class of worker was not available, but it was assumed for this
purpose that all the unemployed could be classed as wage and salary workers.




31

Older Workers In the Experienced Labor Reserve
Total manpower requirements for the national defense program and for
expected levels of civilian output will increase by 3-1/2 million in the 2-year
period 1952-53, according to estimates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This
increase will be met, in part, by reductions in unemployment and "normal" growth
of the labor force. In addition, the expected manpower deeds will require the
recruitment of 1.5 million "extra" workers over the 2-year period, l/
These "extra" workers must be recruited from reserve groups not now
in the labor force, such as housewives, the handicapped, and older workers.
Hence, it is important to appraise the potential contribution to estimated man­
power requirements which may be expected from men and women in the older age
groups.
The extent to which older workers
the experienced labor reserve is shown by a
Census in March 1951. The survey indicated
persons aged 20 years and over who were not
not' disabled for further employment but who
since our entry into World War II. Men and
stituted 4-1/2 million of these experienced

constitute a significant part of
survey made by the Bureau of the
that there were roughly 13 million
in the labor force at that time and
had substantial paid work experience
women 45 years of age and over con­
workers. 2/

Among the total 13 million experienced workers, some 11 million about 85 percent - were women. Of these, the group constituting the largest
potential source of reserve manpower were the almost 6 million women without
children "under 6 years old. Within this group, about 2 million women were 45
to 64 years of age and an additional l/2 million were 65 years and over.
Only about 2-1/4 million men were numbered among those in the exper­
ienced labor reserve. Among these men, 75 percent were 45 years and over and
about half, or more than a million, were aged 65 and over.
About 1.2 million men and almost the same number of women who were
45 years of age and over worked both during and after World War II. Of these,
almost half a million men and a million women were between the ages of 45 and 64*

l/ Manpower Report No. 14 — Projected Manpower Requirements and Supply,
1952-53* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, January 1952.
2/ For the purposes of this survey, the total with work experience included
those who had worked for pay or profit at least 90 days, either during World
War II or since the end of the war.




32

Skilled craftsmen are the occupational group for which there is the
most urgent current and anticipated demand. There were only an estimated
634.,000 in this occupational group in the experienced labor reserve, mainly
men with fa ir ly recent work experience who could probably make an important
contribution to the defense e ffo rt. About half were men past U5 years o f age,
and about one-third were 65 years and over.
Major needed additions to manpower supply could be achieved by bring­
ing back into the work force qualified older m and women with previous work
en
experience. Retraining and careful placement w ill contribute to their m
axim
um
u tilisa tion . Moreover, the need for additional new workers can be minimized
by encouraging the retention in employment o f workers who reach retirement age.
Tables 19 and 20 present detailed data on the previous work exper­
ience, for a ll age groups, o f persons in the experienced labor reserve.




33

Table 19.—
4iajor Occupational Group of Previous Job for Persons in the Experienced Labor Reserve
in March 1951# by Age and Sex

Percent of experienced labor reserve

Major occupational
group ] /

Total,
20 years
of age
and over

Female

Male
Total,
20 years
of age Total
and over

20 to
44
years

45 to
64
years

65
and
over

Total

(thousands)

Marriad
with
children .
under 6 i f

Other
Total

20 to
44
years

45 to
years

65
and
over

64

13,284

100.0

17.5

4.3

4.5

8.7

82.5

38.5

43.9

24.7

15.1

4.1

Professional, technical, and kindred workers
Farmers and farm managers • • • • • • • • •
Managers , o ffic ia ls , and propzleto rs, exc ept
farm ................................... • • • • • • • •

974
274

100.0
100.0

14.8
93.4

4.7
3.6

3.7
25.5

6.4
64.2

85.1
6.6

42.3
•••

42.9
6.6

23.8

•••

14.8
5.1

4.3
1.5

618

100.0

42.1

4.9

16*2

21.0

57.9

20.7

37.2

10.7

19.4

7.1

Clerical and kindred workers * ....................
Sales workers.......................................................

3,146
1,104

100.0
100.0

4.3
10.7

1.7
4.5

.7
2.0

1.9
4.2

95.7
89.3

59.9
38.4

35.8
50.9

25*6
31.0

8*8
16.5

1.3
3.4

634

100.0

63.1

10.1

19.2

33.8

36.9

17.0

19.9

12.9

6.0

.9

100.0‘

11.9

4.0

2.8

5.0

88.1

39.9

48*2

26*4

18.3

3.5

»«•
.3
8.0
3.2
4.3 34.8
15.8 28.1
3.6 10.7

99.4
86.5

19.5
32.9
20.4
12.2
10.7

79.9
53.6
52.5
16.3
67.9

33.9
29.1
24.1
9.2
35.7

28.6
18.7
21.0
6.6
17.9

17.4
5.8
7.4
.5
14.3

T o ta l.............................................................. . .

Craftsmen, foremen, and kindred workers • •
Operatives and kindred workers

* ................

Private household workers.................... ... • •
Service workers , except private household .
Farm laborers and foremen • * • • • • • • •
Laborers, except farm and mine • • • • • •
Occupation not reported • • • • • • • • • •

3,406
678
1,678
324
392
56

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100*0

.6
13,5

27.2
71*4
21.4

.3
2.3
8.0
27.6
7.1

72.8

28.6
78.6

1 / Relates to last job of those who worked since the end of World War H and h ip est paid war job for those w worked during but not after the war*
ho
2 / Excludes those separated from their husbands bub not yet divorced*
Source: U*S. Bureau of the Census, Series P-50, No* 3$, Work Experience of the Labor Reserve: March 1951*




Table 20.—Suwiary o f Work Experience o f Persons in the Labor Reserve
in March 1951, by Age and Sex

With work experience since beginning of World War II
Total
persons
in labor
reserve

Age and sex

Total
Num
ber

(thousands)
Total, 20 and over

. . .

Percent
of total
in labor
reserve

Worked
Worked
during b b both dur­
u
not after ing
and
war
after war

With no work
experience
Worked
since
beginning
after but
of World
not during
war
War II

(thousands)
4,796

6,478

2,010

23,110

1,160

56.6
75.6
56.1

552
56
116
380

1,440
206
464
770

336
306
20
10

1,536
436
194
908

32,52S

10,956

33.7

4,244

5,038

1,674

21,572

9,822
22,706
7,752
10,038
4,916

5,120
5,836
3,278
2,012
546

52.1
25.7
42.3
20.0
11.1

2,056
2,188
1,118
848
222

2,402
2,636
1,446
90S
282

662
1,012
714
256
42

4,702
16,870
4,474
8,026
4,370

.

36,394

13,284

Male, 20 and o v e r ................
20 to 44 . ........................
45 to 64 ............................
65 and o v e r.................... ..

3,666
1,004
794
2,068

2,328
568

Female, 20 and over • . • .
Married, with children
under 6 years old . . .
Other ...................................
20 to 4 4 .................... ■ .
45 to 6 4 ........................
65 and over ....................

600

36.5
60.2

Percent distribution
Total, 20 and over

. . . .

100.0

100.0

Male, 20 and o v e r................
20 to 44 ...........................
45 to 64 • • • • • • • •
65 and o v e r................ ... .

10.6
2.8
2.2
5.7

17.5
4.3
4.5
8.7

Female, 20 and over . • • .
Married, with children
under 6 years old . . .
Other . . ...........................
20 to 44 ........................
45 to 64 ........................
65 and over • ................

89.4

82.$

27.0
62.4
21.3
27.6
13.5

3d. 5
43.9
24.7
15.1
4.1

Source:

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

22.2
3.2
,7.2
11.9

16.7
15.2

••*

11.5
1.2
2.4
7.9

0.5

6.7
1.9
0.8
3.9

ee♦

88.5

77.8

83.3

93.3

•••

42.9
45.6
23.3
17.7
4.6

37.1
40.7
22.3
14.0
4.4

32.9
50.3
35.5
12.7
2.1

20.3
73.0
19.4
34.7
18.9

•ee

•• •
see
•••

•••
•••

•••
see

1.0

U.S. Bureau of the Census, Series P-50, No. 36, Work Experience of the Labor Reserve: March 1951*




35

LIFE E P C A C A D T E L N T OF W R IN LIFE
X E T N Y N H E GH
OK G
The Increase in Life Expectancy
The average length o f l i f e in the United States reached 68 years hy
1949, an increase o f about 20 years since 1900. Table 21 shows that the aver­
age expected lifetim e at birth is now 71.5 years for white women and almost 66
years for white men. Average l if e expectancy at birth is now 58.6 years for
nonwbite m and almost 63 years for nonwhite women.
en
Table 21.—Average Number o f Years o f Life Remaining
at Selected Ages, by Race and Sex,
1900, 1940, and 1949

White

Nonvhite

Age and year
Male
At birth :
1900 .....................
1940 .....................
1949 ............. .
At age
1900
1940
1949
At age
1900
1940
1949
At age
1900
1940
1949
At age
1900
1940
1949
At age
1900
1940
1949
1/

10:
.....................
.....................
.....................
20:
.....................
.....................
.....................
40:
.....................
.....................
.....................
60:
.....................
.....................
.....................
70:
.....................
.....................
....................

Female

Male

Female

48.2
62.8
65.9

51.1
67.3
71.5

(1 /)
52.3
58.6

<±/>
55.5
62.9

50.6
57.0
58.7

52.2
60.8
63.9

(i/>
48.5
52.8

0A
50.8
56.5

42.2
47.8
49.3

43.8
51.4
54.2

0 /)
39.7
43.5

0 /)
42.1
47.1

27.7
30.0
30.9

29.2
33.2
35.3

(1 /)
25.2
27.2

(1/0
27.3
30.4

14.4
15.0
15.5

15.2
17.0
18.3

0 /)
14.4
15.3

3 2
17.7

9.0
9.4
9.8

9.6
10.5
11.3

(1 /)
10.1
11.8

0 /)
11.8

Information not available.

Source: U. S. National Office of Vital Statistics*
1900 and 1940—Vital S tatistics of the United States, 1948,
Part I . 1949—Abridged Life Tables fo r A ll Races, Both
Sexes, in the United States, 1949*



36

The increases in life expectancy have been due largely to the con­
tro l o f infectious diseases, which has resulted in prolonging liv es o f persons
who formerly would have died in infancy, childhood, or young adulthood. Con­
sequently, average lif e expectancy has increased most significantly for persons
under 20.
As shown in table 21, there have been less appreciable increases
since 1900 in the average years o f lif e remaining at ages 4-0, 50, and 60. For
white men, average lif e expectancy at age 40 increased about 3 years between
1900 and 1949} for white women, the comparable increase was about 6 years.
The Growing Gan Between Total Life and Working-Life Span
The impact of broad population and labor force trends on the lif e
pattern o f the individual worker is illustrated by estimates of w ork-life ex­
pectancy developed recently by the Bureau o f Labor S ta tistics. These estimates
are derived from an application o f the techniques used in construction o f the
conventional lif e table to the measurement o f the length o f working l i f e .
In 1900, a white male aged 40 had an average lif e expectancy o f
sligh tly under 28 years, or to age 67.7; he could expect, on the average, to
remain in the labor force for 24.5 years, or to age 64.5. He could anticipate,
therefore, sligh tly over 3 years in retirement. These figures are, o f course,
averages, and allow for the fact that a large proportion of m die before
en
reaching retirement age, whereas others liv e substantial periods in retire­
ment. By 1940, the 40-year-old white male could expect to liv e for an addi­
tional 30 years, or to age 70. His working-life expectancy had declined
slig h tly , however, so that he could anticipate nearly 6 years in retirement.
Hence, the span o f retirement had nearly doubled between 1900 and 1940.
For the future, a continued widening o f this gap between the tota l
l if e span and the working-life span seems lik e ly . By 1975, the average re­
tirem ent-life expectancy o f a 40-year-old male worker w ill have risen to
nearly 9-1/2 years (assuming a continuation o f 1920-40 trends in labor force
participation rates) or to almost 7 years (assuming the 1947 labor force
participation rates).




37

Table 22 and chart 6 show the changes in l if e expectancy and workl i f e expectancy for male workers at age 60 which have occurred since 1900.
The number o f years in retirement to be expected for a 60-year-old doubled
between 1900 and 1947 - - from 2.8 to 5.6 years.
These comparisons focus attention on one o f the pivotal aspects o f
the problems o f old-age dependency. Individually and co lle ctiv e ly , v ita l
decisions w ill be made in coming decades as to the disposition o f the latter
years o f l if e between retirement and continued productive a ctiv ity . In turn,
these decisions w ill have important repercussions on the size of the Nation’ s
labor force, the national income, and on the prospective standard o f living
o f the American population.
A fu ll description o f the construction and application o f the above
estimates is found in : Tables o f Working L ife, Length o f Working Life for Men,
Bureau o f Labor S tatistics Bulletin 1001, August 1950.
Table 22.—Total Life Expectancy and Work-Life Expectancy
o f Male Workers at Age 60
Average number o f years o f l if e remaining
Year
Total
1900 1 / ...................
1940 ..........................
1947 ..........................

In labor
force

In
retirement

14.3
15.1
15.3

11.5
9.2
9.7

2.8
5.9
5.6

The figures for average number o f years o f lif e remaining d iffe r
sligh tly from data shown in table 21 as a result o f minor differences
in the methods o f computation.
1 / Bata available for white males only in death registration
States o f 1900,




38

Chart

6.

TOTAL LIFE EXPECTANCY AND WORK-LIFE EXPECTANCY
MALE WORKERS, AGE 6 0

Y ears
R e m a in in g

20

1900
U

N

I

T

E

D

S

T

A

T

E

1940
S

D

E

P

A

R

T

B R A O L B R S A IS IC
UE U F A O T T T S




39

M

1947
E

N

T

O

F

L

A

B

O

R

IN M AN SOU
CO E D
RCES OF IN M
CO E

Income o f Families
The extent to which fam ily incomes varied in 1950 with the age o f
the family head i s shown by data in table 23. The lowest average income is
found among fam ilies where the head was aged 65 and over. Income was highest
in fam ilies where the head was between 35 and 54 years o f age.
The relation sh ip between family income and age o f head resu lts from
several fa c to r s . Family income tends to reach a peak as the head o f the
fam ily reaches the highest le v e l o f earning power, inasmuch as he is the prin­
c ip a l earner in most fa m ilies. In addition, the s iz e o f family and number o f
earners per fam ily tend to reach a peak as the head o f the family approaches
middle age. A lso, the proportion o f fam ily heads in the labor fo rce declines
a fte r age 55.
In 1950 there were about 4.Q m illion among a t o t a l o f almost 40
m illion fam ilies in which the head was 65 years o f age and over. Of these,
almost one-third received le ss than $1,000 a year and more than h a lf had
fam ily income o f le ss than $2,000. The median income was only $1,900, com­
pared with the highest median o f almost $3,700 fo r fam ilies in which the head
was 45-54 years o f age. The median income fo r a l l fam ilies was $3,300. Data
are not available fo r ages within the group 65 years and over, but the median
i s probably heavily weighted by the greater incomes o f fam ilies in which the
head was 65 to 69 years o f age. Income o f fam ilies in which the head i s 70
years o f age and over is undoubtedly considerably lower, inasmuch as labor
fo r c e p a rticip a tion drops sharply in these ages. The average age o f men
awarded old-age ben efits in 1950, under the 1939 amendments o f the S ocial
Security Act, was 69.4 years.




40

Table 23.- -D is t r ib u t io n o f F a m ilie s in the U nited S tates by T o ta l Money Income and Age o f Head,
1950

Age o f fam ily head
T otal money inoome

Total
U?-2l?

A ll fa m ilies (in thousands) • • ».....• • •
Percent .......................... ............. .
Under $500 ..................................................
$500
- $999 ............................................
$1,000 - $1,999 ........................................
$2,000 - $2,999 ........................................
$3,000 - $3,999 ........................................
$1?,000 - $U,999 ........................................
$5,000 - $5,999 ........................................
$6,000 - $6,999 ........................................
$7,000 - $9,999 ........................................
$10,000 and over .....................................

39,822
100.0
5.8
5.7
13.2
17.8
20.7
13.6
9.0
5.2
5.8
3.3

Median income ................................ ...............

$3,319

25-3U

35-kh

U5-51?

55-61?

65 and over

1,852
100.0
lu9
7.8
21.1
25.0
20. U
11.9
5.8
2.1?
.7
•••

9,002
100.0
3.8
3.5
11.2
20.6
26.3
15.3
9.1?
1?.8
l?.l
1.0

9,5U?
100.0
l?.0
3.3
10.3
16.5
23.3
15.5
11.6
6.3
5.7
3.6

8,322
100.0
U.7
U.5
11.3
15.7
19. h
1U.3
10.3
6.3
8.3
5.1

6,33U
100.0
6.6
6.1
ll?.6
17.8
16.5
13.3
7.1
5.U
7.7
U.8

U,798
100.0
1U.7
15.7
21.2
15.8
11.5
6.1?
l?.l?
2.6
U.5
3.2

$3,61?1? $3,681?

$3,258

$1,903

$2,613

$3,365

Figures do not n ecessarily add to the to ta l because o f rounding.
Source? U. S. Bureau o f the Census, Series P-60, No. 9, Income o f Families and Persons in the United
S tates: 1950*







T a b l e

24.—

► D i s t r i b u t i o n

o f

P e r s o n s

1 4

Y e a r s

a n d

O v e r

b y

T o t a l

M o n e y

I n c o m e ,

A g e ,

a n d

S e x ,

1 9 5 0

T o t a l m o n e y in c o m e
and se x

Age
T o ta l
1 4 -1 9

M a le
T o t a l ( i n t h o u s a n . d . .s. .) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .•
.
5 2 ,5 9 2
T o t a l w i t h i n c o m e ( i n t h o u s a n4 d7 s, 5 . 8 5
)
P e r c e n t w i t h i n c o .. . . e. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
m .
1 0 0 .0
U n d e r $ 5 0 0 1. ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 1 .3
♦ 500
- 4 9 9. . .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9 .4
♦ 1 , 0 0 0 - $ 1 , 9 9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
1 6 .4
2 1 .6
$ 2 , 0 0 0 - $ 2 , 9 9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
♦ 3 , 0 0 0 - $ 3 , 9 .9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 0 .9
9 .6
♦ 4 , 0 0 0 - 1 4 , 9 .9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8 .6
♦ 5 , 0 0 0 - $ 9 , 9 .9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 .0
$ 1 0 , O C X ) a n d o v e .r. . . . . . . . . . . . ... .
..
.
M e d ia n

i n c o m .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 2 , 5 7 0
e

F e m a le
5 6 ,9 0 0
T o t a l ( i n t h o u s a n •d• s•) • • • •.............
T o t a l w i t h i n c o m e ( i n t h o u s a n2 d4 s, 6 . 5 1
)
P e r c e n t w i t h i n c o .. . . e. . . . . . . . ...
m .
1 0 0 .0
3 2 .0
U n d e r $ 5 0 0 1. ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 9 .8
♦ 500
- $ 9 .9. .9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
2 3 .6
♦ 1 , 0 0 0 - 1 1 , 9 .. .9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9 .
1 8 .1
♦ 2 , 0 0 0 - $ 2 , 9 .. .9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9 .
♦ 3 , 0 0 0 - ^ 3 , 9 .9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4 .5
1 .2
♦ 4 , 0 0 0 - $ 4 , 9 .9. .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.6
$ 5 , 0 0 0 - t o , 9 .9 .9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. .
.2
$ 1 0 , 0 0 0 a n d o v e r ................. . . . . . . . .
.
M e d ia n

in c o m e

♦ 953

2 0 -2 4

2 5 -3 4

3 5 -4 4

655 5 - a n4 d o v e r
6

4 5 -5 4

1 0 , 9 8 81 0 , 0 7 2 8 , 5 5 0 6 , 7 2 8
5 ,9 0 4 4 ,8 8 6
5 ,4 6 4
2 ,4 7 6 4 ,5 2 0 1 0 ,8 5 1
4 ,9 1 1
9 ,9 3 5 8 ,4 1 0 6 ,4 8 2
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .1 0 0 . 0 1 0 0 . 0
0
6 . 23 . 9
1 0 .8
2 5 .8
6 3 .4
1 1 .4
3 .3
5 .8
6 .1
4 .3
9 .3
1 7 .7 1 3 .5
2 4 .9
1 2 .8
2 7 .0 1 5 .3
1 2 .5
1 4 .7 1 7 .3
2 0 .3
2 9 .2
1
2 6 .7
2 1 .5
2 0 .5
2 2 .34 . 8
5 .1
2 7 .0
2 0 .2
1 4 .0
2 3 .6
7 .2
.7
2 7 .7
1 2 .0
1 4 .01 2 .4
8 .8
3 .5
2 .5
.3
.
8 .2
3 .6
. ••
1 .3
8 .4
1 13 2. 9 8
2 .1
•• •
•e •
.7
2 .9
3 3 7. 0
.
♦ 394
6 ,2 8 0
2 ,0 4 3
1 0 0 .0
6 3 .7
1 6 .9
1 5 .3
4 .2
e ••
••

•
•
•••

••

♦ 1 , 9 3 3$ 2 ,9 6 1

♦ 3 ,2 5 4

♦ 3 , 0 9♦ 1 2 , 4 9 4

♦ 986

1 0 ,7 8 0 ,8 8 2 6 ,9 2 6
8
5 ,7 4 0 1 2 ,1 2 0
6 ,1 7 2
3 ,3 2 8
3 ,1 5 8
5 ,0 8 34 ,4 3 3 3 ,8 4 1 2 ,7 6 5
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0 1 0 0 .0
2 3 .6
2 5 .2 2 5 .5
2 5 .2
3 1 .6
4 7 .9
2 2 .0
1 6 .0
1 6 .2 1 7 .1
1 8 .5
3 4 .5
1 1 .1
2 4 .6
2 2 .1
2 6 .5
3 3 .5 2 6 .4
2 4 .6
1 6 .1
3 .8
1 9 .2
2 2 .9
2 5 .3
6 .0
1 .2
4 .8
7 .5
1 .4
6 .5
2 .0
.1
1 .1
1 .5 2 .5
.5
1 .2
.1
.7
.5
1 .3
.3
.2
e••
.1
.4
.3
.3

♦ 3 9 2 $ 1 ,4 0 0

$ 1 ,3 5 5

$ 1 ,3 0 8 ♦ 1 ,2 4 2

♦ 918

♦ 531

Figures do not n ecessarily add to to ta l because o f rounding*
1 / Excludes persons with no income and includes those reporting a net loss*
Source: U. S. Bureau o f the Census, Series P—
60, No. 9 > Income o f Families and Persons in the United States:
1950

1 0 0

Income of H and W m n
on
o e
Data on income, in 1950, of men and women b y age are given in
table 24 . The distribution of persons b y income pertains only to those who
received some money income. The data indicate, that in 1950 more than l/2
million of 5- 1 /2 million men in the age group 65 years and over received no
money income^ even though money Income was defined to include such receipts
as pensions, governmental payments, public assistance, and even contributions
for support from persons not members of the household. Even among men 55 to
65 there were almost 250,000 out of 6.7 million who received no money income.
Of about 4*9 million men aged 65 years and over wh o were income
recipients, more than 70 percent had incomes of less than $2 ,000 . The Income
of half the men in this age group was less than $ 1 ,000 , and a fourth received
incomes of less than $500. The median income for men in this age group was
$ 986 , compared with almost $ 2,500 for men aged 55 to 64 , and almost $ 3,100
at ages 45 to 54*
The median income for women was muc h lower than for men at each
age and there was less sharp variation among the age groups.
It is true that
many women are not entirely dependent on their own incomes. An important con­
sideration relating to the adequacy of income among 6 .2 million women.aged 65
years and over is the more than 3 million widows in the group.
In addition,
more than a half million women of those ages are single or divorced. Of all
the women 65 years and over, 2 .8 million, or almost half, had no money income
of their own. Of those receiving income, the amount was less than $500 for
almost half. About 82 percent had incomes of less than $1,000.

Sources of Income -- June 1951
Table 25 presents, for June 1951, the semiannual estimate prepared
b y the Social Security Administration of the number of persons aged 65 and
over in the population with income from employment, social insurance and
related programs, and public assistance.
According to these estimates, of a total 12.7 million persons in
the population aged 65 and over, about one-fourth, or 3 million, received
old-age and survivors insurance.
One-fifth, or 2.7 million, were on the
public assistance rolls. Among all persons 65 years and over, 3.9 million,
or 30 percent, had income from employment.




43

The trend has been toward a continuing decline in the relative
number of older persons with income from employment.
In 1944-* when rela­
tively more aged persons were in the labor force than at any other time
since 1940, approximately 40 percent o f the population aged 65 and over were
in receipt of earnings. B y the end of 1950 this proportion ha d dropped to
30 percent, reflecting, in part, a reduction in employment opportunities
for older workers.

Table 25 •— Estimated Number o f Persons Aged 65 and Over Receiving
Income from Specified Source, June 1951 1/
(In millions)

Total

Source of income

Total in population 2 / ................ .
Employment .......................
Earners .............. ....... .
Wives of earners .......... ............
Social insurance and related programs:
Old-age and survivors insurance ••••••
Railroad r e t i r e m e n t ...................
Federal employee retirement programs..
Veterans' compensation and
pension program .....................
Other i j ............. .................
Public assistance .............. .........

Men

Women

12.7

6.0

6.7

3.9
2.9
.9

2.4
2.4
• e•

1.4

3.0
.3
.2

1.7
•2
.1

1.3
.1

.3

.2
.1
i / 1.3

a
.3
i.4

•4
2.7

.5
.9

y

2 / Continental United States only.
2 / Includes persons with no income and wit h income from sources
other than those specified. Some persons received income from more
than one of the sources listed.
2 / Less than 50,000.
i j Beneficiaries of State and local government programs and wives
o f male beneficiaries of programs other than old-age and survivors
insurance.
j>/ Old-age assistance.
Source: Social Security Administration.
Earners aged 65 and over estimated b y the Bureau of the Census.
Population aged 65 and over, number of wives of earners, and number
of wives of male beneficiaries of programs other than old-age and
survivors insurance estimated from Bureau of the Census data. Number
of persons in receipt of payments under social insurance and related
programs and from public assistance, reported b y administrative agencies,
partly estimated.




44

RETIREMENT AND PENSION PROGRAMS BASED ON EMPLOYMENT

M a j o r Social Insurance Programs

Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Program
Coverage. The purpose of the program, established under the Social Security
A ct of 1935, is to provide continuing income for workers and their families
as partial replacement of earnings lost through old-^ge retirement or death of
the wage earner. Amendments in 1950 extended the law to cover more than 45
million persons in a n average week. Newly covered, beginning in 1951, are selfemployed people (other than farm operators and certain professional groups),
regular household employees, regular farm employees, and many Federal workers
not covered b y the civil service retirement system. Certain employees of non­
profit organizations previously excluded from coverage and certain employees
of State and local governments m a y also be covered by the law. Monthly re­
tirement benefits in varying amounts are payable to the workers themselves at
age 65 or over; to their wives and dependent husbands aged 65 or over who are
living with them and w h o are not entitled to equivalent benefits on their own
wage records; to wives under 65 wh o have i n their care children entitled to
monthly benefits; and to unmarried dependent children under age 18.
Total monthly benefits payable with respect to the wage record of a n
insured worker range from a minimum of $20 to a maximum of $150 a month, in
accordance w i t h his past covered earnings and the number and relationship of
the persons entitled to benefits.
In addition to a n y monthly payments, upon
the death of a n insured person a l ump sum is payable to his widow or widower
or to the persons w ho paid the burial expenses.
Entitlement t o monthly benefits or lump-sum payments depends on the
Insured status of the worker, the age and relationship of the worker and his
dependents, and application for such benefits, or payments. Monthly benefits
are not payable for a ny month in w h i c h t h e b e n e f i c or r the wage e a r n e ron
ia y
whose wage credits benefits are based earns more than $50 from services in
covered employment or in railroad employment. Whe n a person receiving monthly
old*<ige and survivors insurance payments renders substantial services in selfemployment covered b y the law and has net earnings averaging more than $50 a
month in a taxable year, payments are not made for one or more months. The
number of benefits not payable depends on the amount of earnings in the year
and on the number of months in which substantial services were rendered. 2 /

2/

U. S. Government Organization Manual 1951-52 (p. 375) •




45

Current Benefit Payments. A t the end of June 1951, about 2*1 million retired
worker families were receiving monthly benefits under old-age and survivors
insurance* They constituted 73 percent of almost 2.9 m illion families (in­
cluding survivors) receiving payments under this insurance program.
Payments to a n approximate 1*5 million retired workers, with n o de­
pendents receiving benefits, averaged $4-3.50 a month for m e n and $33*60 for
women.
Of the approximate 2.1 million recipients of old-age benefits, 30 per­
cent of the m e n and 6 percent of the w omen received monthly payments averaging
from $55 to $68*50, the highest amounts which were paid to retired workers
without dependents*
The average monthly payment for slightly more than h alf a million
retired m e n with wives aged 65 and over was $70.40*

Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefit Program
Cover a g e . The purpose of the program, which operates under the Railroad Re­
tirement Act, is to provide continuing income for railroad employees and their
families a3 partial replacement of earnings lost through the retirement or
death of the employee. Approximately 1,500,000 employees are covered on a n
average day*
Monthly retirement annuities are payable to employees w h o are:
(1) 65 years of age and have completed 10 years of service; (2) 60-64 years of
age and have completed 30 years of service (annuity reduced for m e n but not for
women); (3) 60-64 years of age, have completed 10 years of service, are perma­
nently disabled for w ork in their regular railroad occupation, and have a cur­
rent connection wit h the railroad industry; (4) less than 60 years of age, have
completed 20 years of service, are permanently disabled for wor k in their reg­
ular railroad occupation, and have a current connection w i t h the railroad in­
dustry; and (5) less than 65 years of age, have completed 10 years of service,
and are permanently disabled for all regular gainful employment*
A monthly annuity is also payable, since November 1, 1951, to the
wife (or dependent husband) of a retired employee who is 65 years of age* The
wife must also be 65 or have in her care a n employee*s child who is unmarried,
under 18, and dependent on the employee*
The husband of a woman employee must
be 65 and must be dependent upon the employee for at least half of his support*
A spouse*8 annuity is equal to half the employee*s annuity, up to $40 a month*
These annuities are computed on the basis of the employee's years of
service and average compensation. Earnings in excess of $300 a month are not
credited. A t the present time, the m aximum annuity payable is $165*60*

y

Social Security Administration*




46

A monthly benefit is also payable to a former pensioner of a rail­
road carrier if he is not eligible for a retirement annuity and was on the
pension rolls of his employer on March 1 and July 1, 1937.
Special provisions govern the monthly retirement and survivor benefits
payable when an employee has credited employment under both the Railroad Retire­
ment Act and the Social Security Act.
Annuities are not payable to an employee or his spouse for a n y month
in which the employee works for a railroad or for his last nonrailroad employer
if his last employment was outside the railroad industry.
A spouse's annuity
is not payable for any month in which the spouse works for a railroad or her
(his) last nonrailroad employer.
Entitlement to monthly an d insurance lump-sum survivor benefits de­
pends on the insured status of the employee and on the age and relationship of
the survivor.
Survivor benefits are based on the employee1s combined railroad
and social security earnings after 1936. The maximum payable to a single family
is $160.
A monthly survivor benefit is not payable for any month in which the
beneficiary works (1) for a railroad, or (2) for a social security employer and
earns as much as $50.
The railroad credits after 1936 of employees with less than 10 years
of railroad service are transferred to the Social Security Administration when
they retire or die. Also those of employees who die without having acquired an
insured status for survivor benefit purposes under the Railroad Retirement Act
are transferred to the Social Security Administration* j>/
Current Benefit Payments. At the end of December 1951, 264,000 retired employee
families were receiving benefits.
They constituted 6 4 percent of the 417,000
persons— retired employees, spouses, and survivors of deceased e m p l o y e e s - o n
the monthly benefit rolls at that time* The average employee retirement annuity
being paid on December 31, 1951, was $93*67; the average spouse's annuity was
$39.72; the average widow's benefit was $39.24; and the average child's was
$23.09. i /

j/
i

Railroad Retirement Board.




47

Public Retirement and Pension Systems

Federal Civil Service Retirement System
Since 1920, employees in the classified civil service and certain
other groups of civilian employees have been covered b y the first Federal con­
tributory retirement system. This system, administered b y the Civil Service
Commission, was broadened in 1942 to include most Federal employees not sub­
ject to another retirement system.
In 1946, the provisions of the Civil Serv­
ice Retirement Act were extended to heads of executive departments and, on an
optional basis, to members of the Congress.
The coverage of this basic system
was further broadened in 1947 to absorb employees previously covered under
other separate systems. Through a 1950 amendment to the Social Security Act,
many of the remaining Federal employees not serving under permanent appoint­
ments, and therefore not under civil service retirement, were brought under the
old-age and survivors insurance system.
In July 1951, there were 2.5 million Federal civilian employees, in­
cluding those working outside the continental United States.
On June 30, 1951,
the Civil Service Retirement System covered about 1.76 million persons.
As of
June 30, 1951, a total of 120,745 persons who had retired b y reason of age or
length of service were receiving average monthly payments of $103. 6/

State and Local Government Systems
Extension of the merit system in public employment and the 1920 en­
actment of a retirement program covering most Federal employees spurred the
development of retirement planning for employees of State and local governments.
B y 1950, every State had legislation providing State-wide retirement systems for
teachers, most had systems for general State employees, and a majority provided
State-wide systems for general employees of local governments.
Among some
1,200 cities of more than 10,000 population, about two-thirds had retirement or
pension plans covering all types of employees, and nearly 90 percent had plans
which covered certain classes of employees. The total number of systems in ex­
istence is not known.
The effectiveness of some of the State and local s y s t e m s '
has been hampered by the voluntary nature of coverage provisions.
It is estimated that in the average month in 1950, about 2.6 million
persons, or not quite two out of three State and local government employees,
were covered b y retirement systems. At the end of the fiscal year 1950, about
213,000 retired employees of State and local governments were receiving age or
service annuities.
7/

6 7 U. S . C i v i l Service Commission.
Unpublished report of December 1, 1951.
7/ Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance. Unpublished report of
December 1, 1951.




48

Pension Flans in Private Industry

Complete data are not available either on the total number of private
pension plans in industry or the number of workers covered by such programs.
However, the number of workers under those programs which are within the scope
of collective bargaining agreements has been surveyed b y the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, The Bureau*s latest survey as of mid-1950 revealed 5,123,000
workers were so covered. Table 26 gives a n industry-by-industry breakdown of
this figure.

Table 26,— Workers Covered by Pension Plans
Under Collective Bargaining Agreements
by Major Industry Groups, Mid-1950

Total covered
Industry group
Workers
(thousands)

Percent
of
total

Total ..........................

5,123

100,0

Food and tobacco
Textile, apparel, and leather ,,«,«••
Lumber and furniture
Paper and allied products
Printing and publishing
Petroleum, chemicals, and rubber
Metal products 1 /
Stone, clay, and glass
Mining and quarrying ,,,,,,...•••••«•
Transportation, communications,
and other public utilities 2 / ,,,,•
Trade, finance, insurance, and
services
Unclassified «,,««««,«*,,«••«,.,««•••

87
654
14
140
17
361
2,011
66
466

1.7
12.8
.3
2.7
.3
7.0
39.3
1.3
9.1

1,024

20.0

71
212

1.4

1/
2/

Includes steel, automobiles, and machinery,
Excludes railroads.

Source:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employee-Benefit Plans Under
Collective Bargaining, Mid-1950, Bulletin No. 1017,




49

EXTENT T O WHICH WORKERS ELIGIBLE FOR PENSIONS CONTINUE IN EMPLOYMENT

The increase in the older population, and the growing gap — for in­
dividual workers — between their total life and work-life expectancy, are
basic factors underlying the establishment and recent expansion of social se­
curity and private pension programs. At the same time, there is evidence that
substantial numbers of workers have preferred continued employment as an alter­
native to retirement Tinder old-age insurance benefits which have been available
to them in recent years.

OASI Experience
Of about 3 million workers who were eligible for old-age insurance
benefits under the Social Security Act at the end of December 1950, about twofifths were not receiving such benefits.
All but a small percentage of the
latter group were workers who had either continued in covered employment or
returned to work after age 65. The percent of all eligible workers of differ­
ent ages currently receiving old-age benefits as of December 1950 varied as
follows: 8/
Percent of total

Age

65-66
67-68 .......... ..........
69-70 ...........
70 and over ....

49

For the more than 300,000 persons awarded old-age benefits during
1950 (under the 1939 amendments of the Social Security Act) the average ages
were 69.4 years for men and 68.7 years for women.
About 35 percent of those
awards in 1950 were to beneficiaries aged 70 or over. 2 /
Studies by the Social Security Administration indicate that most peo­
ple work as long as they can and retire only because they are forced to do so.
Special surveys of old-age insurance beneficiary retirements between 1940 and
1947 show that only about 5 percent of the men and women in those years left
their jobs of their own accord, in good health, to enjoy a life of leisure.
They also show that in given years from a fourth to a half of the beneficiaries

8 / Social Security Bulletin, September 1951j Annual Statistical Supplement,
1950.
2/ Social Security Administration, BOASI Analytical Note No. 62, June 15, 1951.




50

had some employment after their entitlement. Of the beneficiaries studied bet­
ween 1941 and 1949, those whose retirement incomes were lowest as a rule went
back to work much more frequently than beneficiaries whose retirement incomes
were more nearly adequate. The studies indicate that at least a fift h o f the
m who became entitled to insurance benefits in any year might remain at work
en
in their regular jobs i f their employers were w illing to keep them or might
take comparable jobs with other employers i f their regular jobs were termi­
nated. 10/
Experience Under the Railroad Retirement Act
An estimated 92,000 railroad employees aged 65 and over performed
some railroad service in 1950, and they represented 4.5 percent of the total
number o f employees of a ll ages in service. A tota l of 203,000 former r a il­
road employees aged 65 and over were on the annuitant r o lls at the end o f 1950.
The average age o f railroad workers awarded fu ll-age annuities during 1950 was
67.7 years, or almost 3 years above the age at which workers become e lig ib le
for such annuities. The experience is particularly significant because the
average monthly annuity being paid at the end o f 1950 was $82.75, considerably
more than the average monthly benefit paid under the old-age and survivors in­
surance program. 11/

10/ "Beneficiaries Prefer to Work" in Social Security Bulletin, January 1951,
pp. 15-17
11/ Railroad Retirement Board, Annual Report, 1951.




51

JOB EXPERIENCE OF OLDER WORKERS

Productivity
S ta tistica l data are almost entirely lacking on the productivity o f
older workers, compared with younger adult workers employed at the same tasks#
Among other reasons, such data are d iffic u lt to obtain because comparison must
be based on appreciably large numbers of workers in the same or similar jobs#
For small groups, such comparisons would be influenced by great differences in
individual work capacities#
Absenteeism and Injury Experience
A Bureau of Labor S tatistics study of work-injury and absenteeism ex­
perience by age indicates that in these respects older workers as a group fare
rela tively w ell. Table 27 shows that industrial accident rates, on the average,
were lower for workers 45 years and over than fo r younger workers, although,
once injured, the d isa b ility of older workers lasted longer. Older workers were
also absent less frequently, with the lowest absenteeism rates among workers
55-64 years o f age.
A report o f this study o f the work records o f almost 18,000 employees
in 109 plants representing a variety of manufacturing industries can be found in
••Absenteeism and Injury Experience o f Older Workers," published in the Monthly
Labor Review, July 1948#
T able 27#—-Work In ju r y and Absenteeism Rates i n M anufacturing In d u s tr ie s

by Age Group, 1945
Disabling injuries
Age group

A ll age groups ••••••••••
Under
20-24
25-29
30-34
35-39
40-44
45-49
50-54
55-59
60-64
65-69
70-74
l/
2/
2/

20 ••••••#•••••••••
.................................
.................................
.................................
........... .....................
.................................
..................................
.................................
.................................
•«••«••••••••••••••
.................................
.................................

Absenteeism
rate 2 /

Frequency
rate 1/

Average days
of d isa b ility

9.7

14.7

3.4

(2/)

4.0
23.4
13.3
6.5
9.0
16,5
19.4
16.2
19.1
16.2
12.4
15.0

5.5
4.9
4.3
3.6
3.4
3.5
3.4
3.3
2.8
2.9
3.3
3.2

4.0
9.2
9.0
11.4
12.4
9.8
7.8
10.1
9.5
9.1
4.9

Per m illion hours worked#
Number of days lo st per 100 workdays.
Rate based on experience o f too small a group of workers to be
significanto




52

Protective Clauses In C ollective Bargaining Agreements
Of a total o f 2,425 collectiv e bargaining contracts analyzed by the
Bureau o f Labor S tatistics, 247 contained seme sp ecific protective provision
applying to older workers* In addition, nearly a ll the agreements included
seniority provisions, which offer a substantial measure of protection to older
employees in many industries by linking job security with length of service.
The number and types of clauses protecting older workers in these
247 collectiv e bargaining agreements, some of which contained clauses fa llin g
into more than one category, were:
SE ®
E

Humber

Hiring clauses:
(No age lim its; mandatory
hiring of older workers;
no discrimination far
age, e tc .)
Retention clauses:
Special transfer to ligh t work •••••••
Pay and hours adjustments «•••••••••••
Joint study of jobs far
older workers ••••••••••••••••••••••••
O ther...................

23
166
113
1
5

Absence o f a sp ecific "older worker" provision in a collective bar­
gaining agreement does not necessarily mean that an employer has no program
fo r transferring or retraining workers who have grown old in the company*s
service and who are no longer able to carry on their regular duties. It is
known that such programs do exist on a formal or informal basis, but data are
not available on their nature and extent.
Age Limits in Hiring
A number of studies in recent years have revealed that employers
tend to retain older workers already on their payrolls, but many apply strict
age lim its in hiring new workers.
A study showing the extent of hiring restrictions based on age was
conducted, during the fir s t 6 months o f 1950, by the Bureau of Employment
Security in the Department of Labor in cooperation with the public employment
services in fiv e States. Studies were made in Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Tex.;
Lancaster, Pa.; Los Angeles, C a lif.; and N York City. These lo ca litie s rep­
ew
resented small, medium-size, and large communities with labor market condi­
tions ranging from relatively high unemployment to virtually fu ll employment.
The studies, covering a ll occupational and industrial groups, included anal­
ysis of over 13,000 job openings to reveal the pattern of hiring specifica­
tions as they relate to age requirements.




53

All loca l o ffice s participating in the study reported widespread
application o f age restriction s in hiring, with 50 to 70 percent o f the em
­
ployer orders fo r workers placed with the loca l o ffic e s , depending on the
loca l area, carrying maximum age lim itations. The majority o f employers in
a ll fie ld s o f work placed age restriction s below 35 on the hiring o f women,
though they might consider m o f 45 or even 50. Contrasting with these re­
en
quirements is the fa ct that, in general, applicants 45 years o f age and over
who register for work at public employment o ffice s constitute about one-third
o f the applicants o f a ll ages.
The study showed that age restriction s vary with the occupation,
the industry, and even the lo ca lity in which the employer does his hiring*
For example, an employer with openings in one occupation or Industry, such as
re ta il specialty sales, may refuse to consider any worker over age 35, whereas
another employer in the wholesale fie ld may be perfectly w illing to accept
qualified workers o f 55 or even 60. In Lancaster, Pa., the construction in­
dustry regularly requested workers under 35j but in Houston, Tax., the same
industry hired any worker capable o f performing, regardless o f age.
Generally, employers relax age specifications when the labor supply
becomes scarce. However, the common assumption that fu ll or expanding employ­
ment provides a complete solution to the older workers* d ifficu ltie s in find­
ing employment was, the Bureau o f Employment Security concluded, completely
disproved by the study.
Houston had had a tight labor market situation for a long time, yet
52 percent o f employers* orders in the loca l o ffic e carried age restriction s.
In this city more than a third o f a ll wom over 45 years o f age registered
en
with the loca l o ffic e were cle rica l and sales workers. However, fou r-fifth s
o f the employers’ orders for women in these occupational categories bore age
restriction s below 35. In Columbus, where the labor market became stringent
during the course o f the study, fou r-fifth s o f the orders were for workers
under 45, and tw o-fifths called for workers under 35.
Age lim its in hiring significan tly reduce the chances o f success
o f older workers in competition fo r new employment. For instance, in Lan­
caster, the chances o f placement o f those over 45 were, on the average, onesixth as great as those for younger adult workers. In cle rica l and sales
occupations, the comparable chances were less than a fourth and even in the
skilled trades they were only half as great. In Houston and Columbus, the




54

same p a tte rn p r e v a ile d , in s p it e o f more s tr in g e n t la b o r m arkets. The odds
a g a in s t th e o ld e r worker in h is search f o r new employment cause him t o under­
go much lo n g e r p e r io d s o f unemployment than th e younger w ork er. G en era lly ,
th e odds were g r e a te r a g a in s t women than a g a in s t men. In a l l the employment
s e r v ic e stu dy l o c a l i t i e s , a c o n s id e r a b ly la r g e r p r o p o r tio n o f o ld e r than o f
younger w orkers remained unemployed more than 20 w eeks.

The R ole o f C ou nseling and Placement S e r v ic e s
The stu dy by th e Bureau o f Employment S e c u r ity proved th a t cou n sel­
in g and placem ent s e r v ic e s a re o f s ig n i f i c a n t a s s is t a n c e t o o ld e r workers in
t h e ir jo b s e e k in g . Many o ld e r w orkers must make a v o c a t io n a l change because
o f t e c h n o lo g ic a l o r oth er changes in th e in d u stry in which th ey have gained
most o f t h e ir e x p e r ie n c e . Employment co u n s e lin g h e lp e d such workers t o ana­
ly z e t h e ir employment h is t o r y , to i s o l a t e t h e ir sep a ra te s k i l l s , t o r e c o g n iz e
r e la t io n s h ip s among s k i l l s , and t o see how v a rio u s com binations o f s k i l l s make
i t p o s s ib le t o perform a number o f d i f f e r e n t j o b s . Another im portant s e r v ic e
t o o ld e r w orkers c o n s is t e d o f g iv in g them p r a c t i c a l , im m ediately u s e fu l la b o r
market in fo r m a tio n , and in p r o v id in g them w ith guidance in con d u ctin g an e f ­
f e c t i v e jo b s e a rch . Development o f jo b o p p o r t u n itie s through in d iv id u a l jo b
s o l i c i t a t i o n , where n e c e s s a r y , was o f g re a t v a lu e .
I n te n s iv e , in d iv id u a liz e d s e r v ic e t o o ld e r w orkers in p u b lic em­
ployment s e r v ic e o f f i c e s during th e cou rse o f th e stu dy v a s t ly in cre a s e d t h e ir
chances o f placem ent. The study in d ic a t e d th a t two t o th ree tim es as many o f
th e o ld e r w orkers who r e c e iv e d s p e c ia l a s s is t a n c e cou ld be p la ced by th e l o c a l
o f f i c e s , compared w ith a p p lic a n ts o f th e same ages who r e c e iv e d o n ly th e serv ­
i c e s o r d in a r ily a v a ila b le t o them.




55




U D RTM T O LA
.S. EPA EN F
I THESE SERVICES
HELP TO...
• P ote in iv u l
rom
d id a
w
ell-being
• D
ecrease in n
volu tary
depen cy
den
• R ise stan
a
dards of livin
g
• C serve train g resources
on
in
a dn
n eeded skills
• Increase n al production
ation

PERTIN N PU
E T BLICATION O T E D P R M N O L B R
S F H EAT E T F A O
The following publications o f the United States Department
o f Labor present facts relating to the employment and economic status
o f older m and women.
en

B R A O E P O M N SECU
U E U F ML Y E T
RITY
Live Longer and Like I t . in Employment Security Review, April 1951 •
Older Workers Seek Jobsf

August 1951*

Workers Are Young Longer.

June 1952•

BRA O LBRSA DRS
UEU F AO TNAD
The Influence of Age on Industrial Accidents, in Proceedings of
the Presidents Conference on Industrial Safety, March 1949*
Bulletin No. 112.
B R A O L B R STATISTICS
UEU F A O
Absenteeism and Injury Experience o f Older Workers.in Monthly
Labor Review, July 1948. Also reprinted as Serial No. R. 1928.
^Budget for an Elderly Couple: Estimated Cost. October 1950. in
Monthly Labor Review, September 1951. Also reprinted as Serial
No. R. 2059* 5 cents.



57

Digest of Selected Health. Insurance. Welfare and Retirement
Plana Under Collective Bargaining. Mld-1930. August 1951*
Special Series Re. 6.
♦Bwilfwwe Benefit Plans Bader Collective Bargaining. Mlri-.1Q50.
Bulletin No* 1017* 15 cents*
aml«wneent and Economic Status of Older Men and Women.
May 1952*
Manpower Report No. 14 — Project.^ Manpower Requirements and
Supply. 1952-53. January 1952.
♦Occupational Outlook Handbook — - 1951 Edition.
Bulletin Mo. 998. 13.00.
♦Tables of Marking Life — Length of Working life for Men.
August 1950. Bulletin No. 1001. 40 cents.

WOMEN'S BUREAU
Hiring Older Women — - Suggestions to E t e > T .
Older Women in the Labor Force.
Older Women*

a

leaflet.

6 pp. of graphic charts.

Sons Aspects of Their lamin-w e n t Problems.

♦Part-Tiee Job* for Women.

Bulletin No. 238.

25 cents.

Publications narked with an asterisk (♦) can bepurchased, at the
price indicated, from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government
Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.
Other publications nay be obtained free, as. long as the supply
lasts, by writing to the issuing Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor,
Washington 25, D. C.
The picture is a photograph of a 7-foot single panel exhibit which
is available for use by conference and other groups. Requests, stating
the sponsor, time, and place of the conference, should bo sent a month In
advance tot




U. S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington 25, D.,C.

58

☆ U. S GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE :O — 1952
.




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