The American Working Conditions Survey Finds That Nearly Half of Retirees Would Return to Work

There are many reasons to help older Americans stay in the workplace, but the best reason could be that they still want to be there. One indication of their workplace satisfaction is the new American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS), which shows that, overall, older workers report having more meaningful work and more workplace flexibility than their younger peers.

This brief focuses on comparing the working conditions experienced by older workers (ages 50 and above) with those of their prime-age peers (ages 35–49), based on their responses to questions posed by the AWCS. The AWCS examined a large number of workplace issues for all workers ages 25–71. The survey had a 64-percent response rate and a large sample of 3,131 respondents. This brief focuses on comparisons that have statistically significant results — meaning that they are unlikely to have been caused by chance.