retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA today reports that an analysis of employment figures shows that “the number of people 55 and older holding jobs is on track to hit a record 28 million in 2010 while young people increasingly are squeezed out of the labor market ... The portion of people ages 16-24 in the labor market is at the lowest level since the government began keeping track in 1948, falling from 66% in 2000 to 55% this year. There are 17 million in that age group who are employed, the fewest since 1971 when the population was much smaller.

“By contrast, people in their 50s, 60s or 70s are staying employed longer than at any time on record. For example, 55% of people ages 60 to 64 were in the labor market during the first 11 months of 2010, up from 47% for the same period in 2000.The trend of older people working more and younger people working less is fundamentally reshaping the labor force and slightly easing pressure on government retirement programs...These trends are especially important because the first of 77 million Baby Boomers — the population bulge that happened from 1946 through 1964 — turn 65 next year.”
KC's View:
The story rightly notes that people are working long in part because they want to and can - they are healthier, and often hold jobs that are not physically demanding ... but that people also are working later in life because the recession wrecked whatever retirement plans they might have had.

I feel bad for the young folks - though probably less bad as I get closer to what used to be retirement age - but I also think that the business world is better off for having a seasoned, experienced workforce (though it is critical that companies engage with these aging workers and take advantage of their wisdom). We aging Baby Boomers also are better off for staying active and working...