Économie et Statistique n° 368 - 2003 Society - Older Workers and The Labour Market
Fifty Year Olds in Private Wage-Earning Employment
In 2000, the distribution of fifty year olds in wage-earn-ing employment was different to that of their younger counterparts. Their weight was greater in the large and long-standing establishments. Their proportion was also higher in industry, finance and real estate. However, having a large percentage of fifty year olds in a given sector does not imply high employability. It mainly reflects the history of hirings, firings and retire-ment. The situation is different when growth in employ-ment is observed. From 1995 to 2000, the employment of fifty year olds decreased mainly in industry, espe-cially among the unskilled. This decrease was due pri-marily to a negative environment for employment in the industrial sectors. Assuming constant variation of total staff levels, the employment trend for fifty year olds is most positive in business services, health and educa-tion, and associations. It is least favourable in trade, energy and finance. Fifty year olds are better paid than their younger coun-terparts and more often work part time as of 55 years old. The relatively high use of part-time work moreover appears to be associated with a trend conducive to their employment. However, the link between employ-ment and relative wage is complicated. A high relative wage for fifty year olds is associated with more of an unfavourable trend in unskilled jobs and more of a favourable trend in highly skilled jobs.