Economics professor to study senior citizens in the workforce

It's still unclear shift away from manual labor will affect older workers

LA CROSSE, Wis (WKBT) – An area economics professor is conducting a study to examine older workers in the changing labor landscape.

John Nunley, the chair of the economics department at UW-La Crosse, recently received a $131,000 grant from the Social Security Administration to study how the changing work landscape is affecting older workers.

Advancements in technology have caused many physically intensive jobs to be phased out, and it’s still unclear shift away from manual labor will affect older workers.

These changes, coupled with the pandemic, may change how people think about retirement.

“COVID-19 is very likely to induce people to work longer than they would have. And it was already forecasted that the baby boomers would likely, many of them at least, would work beyond the social security retirement age,” Nunley said.

Nunley hopes the study will help inform policy makers.

He expects the study to finish by mid summer of 2021.