KTVU Fox 2 Bay Area: Many Seniors Working Through the Pandemic Can’t Afford to Retire (April 26, 2021)
Seniors who are too poor to retire have been working throughout the pandemic, often in service or home care jobs, which either felt or were potentially dangerous before vaccines were available. For these workers, especially those who have worked low wage jobs for decades, Social Security benefits that they paid into will not support rent, food and healthcare costs in the Bay Area. So they’ll keep working until it’s physically or logistically impossible.
Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Patti Prunhuber was interviewed for this piece. She has seen two trends for older workers during the pandemic: one, that many could not afford to stop working, even if they were a frontline worker. “And then on the other hand, we saw many seniors who were laid off or let go during the pandemic,” Prunhuber said. “And, unlike previous periods of recession that have occurred, for the first time in nearly 50 years, people over the age of 55 had a higher rate of job loss than their younger peers.” She also noted that these workers are not being recalled at the same rate as their younger peers.