Bridge Employment and Job Stopping: Evidence from the HARRIS/Commonwealth Survey

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher J Ruhm, Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: This article analyzes a 1989 Louis Harris and Associates survey designed to elicit information on the employment histories and job-stopping behavior of men and women who then were approaching or had recently reached retirement age. The results indicate that retirement often occurs gradually and includes a substantial period of "bridge employment." Most bridge jobholders work full-time, by choice, and report high levels of job enjoyment. Occupational mobility occurring late in life typically involves upward movement, although the pattern of change is quite different when it takes place outside, rather than within, the longest job. The principal concern identified in this article is the limited ability of some groups of workers (nonwhites, females, the less educated, and those in poorly compensated occupations) to either retain longest jobs or to obtain acceptable bridge employment. Health problems also frequently lead to early departures from the labor force.

Additional Information

Journal of Aging and Social Policy, Vol. 6, No. 4, 1994, 73-99.
Language: English
Date: 1994
Bridge employment, Job-stopping behavior, Retirement, Health, HARRIS/Commonwealth Fund Survey

Email this document to