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September 2002     Vol. 3, no. 9

Approaching retirement

Wendy Pyper and Philip Giles

  • Just under half of workers in their 50s and 60s who ended a full-time career job between 1993 and 1997 were working 24 months later. Three in 10 began a new full-time job, while 1 in 10 began a part-time job. Among those aged 50 to 54, almost 60% began a new full-time job, while 26% were still not working after two years. Among those aged 55 to 59, less than one-third began a new full-time job, and just over half were not working two years later.
  • Transition patterns differed between employees and the self-employed: 55% of those ending a full-time, paid job remained without a job for two years, compared with 37% of those ending a full-time, self-employed job. Almost half of those ending a self-employed job began a new full-time job within 24 months.
  • Most workers (62%) who ended a career job voluntarily did not work again during the following two years, while only 21% started a new full-time job. For those who left involuntarily, the proportions were reversed, with most (61%) finding a new full-time job. Almost one-third of workers who claimed to have retired from their career job returned to work within two years.
  • For workers who found a new job within 24 months, the average jobless period was 5.6 months. The amount of time without a job varied by age group, with older age groups taking longer between jobs. The self-employed spent less time without a job-3 months compared with roughly 6 months for employees. Those who 'retired' and then began a new job took more time (7 months) between jobs, on average, than those leaving for other reasons.


Wendy Pyper is with Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-0381 or

Philip Giles is with the Income Statistics Division. He can be reached at (613) 951-2891 or

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