February 21, 2018
An NYT article discussed a plan being pushed by Ivanka Trump and several Republicans in the Senate which would allow for new mothers to take up to twelve weeks of paid family leave. This would be paid for by delaying their Social Security retirement benefits beyond age 67, which would be when they would now be able to collect full benefits.
The piece quotes Carrie Lucas, the President of the Independent Women’s Forum saying:
“Sixty-seven is really late middle age, and many people are really happy to continue working.”
We actually have data on the percentage of women age 65 to 69 who are now in the labor force and continuing to work, happy or not. In the most recent data, less than 28 percent of women in the age group were in the labor force. The share is considerably lower for less-educated workers, who would be the ones most in need of paid leave. The share falls off rapidly as women age so that the labor force participation rate for women between the ages of 70 and 74 is less than 16.0 percent.
It also worth noting that a large percentage of these women work at physically demanding jobs like housekeepers or table servers. These women are likely to find it quite difficult to add another six months or year to their working careers.