WASHINGTON – In conjunction with today’s Special Committee on Aging hearing on “A Changing Workforce: Supporting Older Workers Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond”, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Chairman Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), sent a joint letter to the Biden Administration urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to prioritize supporting older workers.
During his opening statement Ranking Member Scott announced that:
“As Americans continue to work longer, we need to ensure that the federal government supports this workforce. That is why Chairman Casey and I are sending a bipartisan letter to the Department of Labor spotlighting older workers, asking the agency to recognize and support this talent base.”
The letter, sent to the Department of Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh, comes as older Americans have in multiple ways been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the unemployment rate for workers ages 55 and above rose from 2.6 percent in February to 13.6 percent in April, as millions of older workers lost their jobs. While the unemployment rate has improved in recent months, 1.7 million workers ages 55 and above remain unemployed. These data suggest that older Americans are having a difficult time reentering the workforce, a trend we hope to eliminate.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the year 2028, adults over age 55 will account for one-quarter of the workforce. The number of older workers is growing at a rate that outpaces the overall growth of the laborforce. Ensuring that this large and expanding share of our country’s workforce benefits fully from our nation’s economic recovery is essential,” the Senators wrote. “Supporting the aging workforce provides DOL with a critical avenue to advance economic opportunities for older Americans. To do so, attention is needed to ensure that older adults’ unique needs are met in workforce programs that DOL oversees and that older workers’ outcomes are tracked.”
By providing the information requested, the DOL will help us ensure that older Americans can access quality employment opportunities, remain engaged and active in the workplace, and benefit fully from our economic recovery. As the Ranking Member of the Aging Committee, Senator Scott is committed to reengaging older Americans as a strong and valuable section of our economy.
The full letter can be found here.