Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

How Do Older Laid-Off Workers Get By: Reemployment, Early Retirement, or Social Insurance Benefits?

Document type Article
Author Finnie, Ross
Author Gray, David
Journal Canadian Public Policy
Volume 44
Date 2018 June
ISSN 0317-0861, 1911-9917
Pages 173-189


We investigate the post-layoff configuration of income sources and pathways of prime-age and older laid- off workers exhibiting a high degree of prior attachment. Using a unique Canadian administrative database that links the event of the involuntary layoff with detailed data on income receipt, we track all of their sources of income over an interval spanning five years after layoff. We conduct a multivariate statistical analysis of the incidence of relying on income from several alternative sources, specifically early retirement (both public and private), reemployment, self-employment, or reliance on social insurance benefits (other than pensions). The two most common states for laid-off workers who have not yet reached normal retirement age are early retirement and continued labour market activity. Our findings indicate that the older workers are at the point of layoff, the greater the likelihood is that they will rely on pension income as their primary income source. This incidence of reliance on pension income also increases with the number of years elapsed since the point of layoff.