The present study was undertaken in order to examine the differences between occupations in the Swedish labour market with respect to the risk for men and women of leaving working life prematurely. The project was carried out as a population study employing methodology used in demographics to predict life length at birth. Here, calculations of expected remaining work-life length were based on the exits from working life. The study was based on the Swedish national labour statistics, covering all employees who had an occupational definition in 2006 and who were in the age range 35–64 years during the study period 2007–2010. There was a clear socio-economic divide in exit patterns, comparing blue- and white-collar jobs. The differences between the highest and the lowest risk jobs exceeded 4.5 years among both men and women. In the blue-collar occupational groups there were 50 per cent or less ‘survivors’ still working at age 65; in many white-collar occupations there were more than 60 per cent. Men and women exited working life at the same age. Compared to a similar study carried out in 2006, the same socio-economic pattern prevails, but people now work longer in almost all occupations. Women exited working life 0.8 years earlier than men in 2006; this difference is now gone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1332-1349
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number7
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Occupational Therapy

Free keywords

  • demographics
  • gender
  • occupations
  • retirement


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