MRO Magazine

Workers in areas of high unemployment retire earlier

Human Resources

April 22, 2015
By Bill Roebuck


Ottawa – Workers in economic regions that had a higher unemployment rate were expected to retire two years earlier, on average, than workers in economic regions with a lower unemployment rate, according to Statistics Canada’s new report, The Local Unemployment Rate and Retirement, 1991 to 2007.

In 2007, for example, workers in the economic regions with higher unemployment rates, 9.7% on average, were expected to retire at 62.7 years of age.

Conversely, workers in economic regions with lower unemployment rates, 3.9% on average, were expected to retire at 64.2 years of age.

Workers in regions with higher rates of unemployment had a lower expected age of retirement in every year between 1991 and 2007.


The relationship between the local unemployment rate and the probability to retire remained when other factors associated with retirement were taken into account. This suggests that local economic conditions play a role in a worker’s decision to retire.

Other factors related to the probability of an earlier retirement included the presence of a disability, access to Employment Insurance benefits, unionization and having contributed to a registered pension plan for at least five years.

Single men were more likely to retire earlier than those who were married or divorced. Among women, those who were married were more likely to retire early.