Contract Work and Labor Force Participation at Older Ages


Investigators: Katharine G. Abraham (University of Maryland), Brad Hershbein (Upjohn Institute), and Susan Houseman (Upjohn Institute)

This project analyzes the degree to which older workers are involved in contract, “gig” or other informal non-employee work arrangements. Available evidence suggests that independent contractor arrangements have grown in recent years, a trend that may facilitate continued workforce attachment at older ages. This project explores the issue, using new data on contract work from the Gallup Strada Education Pulse Survey and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). It considers the number of older workers engaged in contract work, why they are working in these arrangements, how often the work is with former employers, the extent to which it is secured through mobile apps or online platforms, and whether there are differences in behavior between younger and older workers.

Labor force participation
Independent contractors
“gig” work
Older workers
Labor force participation

Papers funded by this Project: