Older workers job-hopping for longer: New Hires Quality Index

Older man in high-viz vest contentedly packing boxes in a warehouse

The Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index for December 2019 shows the earnings power of people starting a new job dropped 0.6 percent over the month, its sharpest one-month decline in years. The index, which shows inflation-adjusted hourly earnings power of people starting a new job, was up just 0.1 percent from a year prior.

In this month’s release, Index creator Brad Hershbein focuses on older workers, who have played a growing role among newly hired workers. Prime-age worker hiring has shifted toward the higher skilled, but older workers are being hired for jobs at all skill levels, including the less-skilled jobs that pull the wage index down.

Older workers are not just staying in jobs but are actively taking new jobs, and their share of the earnings power of new hires continues to rise. In 2001, workers over 55 accounted for 12.5 percent of the earnings power of all newly hired workers. That number rose to 23 percent in 2019.

Details are in this month’s full news release.

Date: February 5, 2020