This article presents a historical examination of employment amongst men aged 60 years or more in Spain. We aim to explore the characteristics of this segment of the labour force and to analyse the key transformations affecting it during the first seven decades of the twentieth century, such as structural change and, most notably, the rise of public pensions. We then move on to identify specific problems faced by older workers during the study period. It has been hypothesised that one of these was the ‘life-cycle deskilling process’, the effects of which have previously been demonstrated in case studies of certain nations other than Spain. We explore whether life-cycle deskilling also occurred in Spain. We take a quantitative perspective, basing our analysis on the age by occupation tables published from the Spanish censuses from 1900 to 1970.