Older Workers in U.S. Drive Competition in Labor Market – Bloomberg 06-26-12

Salient to Investors:

A record 7.3 million workers 65 or older are competing for jobs. Joblessness among 16 to 24-year-olds was 16.1 percent in May, versus 8.2 percent rate for the nation. Payrolls in May grew at the slowest pace in a year and joblessness has topped 8 percent for 40 consecutive months. Since 2010, those age 55 and older are outpacing prime-age workers in holding multiple jobs.

A Jay Bryson and Sarah Watt at Wells Fargo Securities study found:

  • 74 percent of Americans plan to work past age 65 – 39 percent need to earn to make ends meet or maintain their lifestyle, and 35 percent want to stay employed.
  • There’s more competition per opening, particularly in stores or fast-food restaurants.
  • Nearly 17 percent of those age 65 and older were employed in May, a 46-year-high and up from 15.5 percent at the start of the recession in December 2007. Those between age 25 and 54 working dropped to 75.3 percent last month, versus 79.9 percent in December 2007.
  • The 65 and older jobless rate remains close to the post-World War II high reached in 2010, and a record 42 percent have been out of work for more than a year.
  • Workers displaced in their early 60s earn about 30 percent less in their new job than their previous one.

Richard Johnson at the Urban Institute predicts the population of those age 55 to 79 will expand by 26.9 percent between 2011 and 2020, versus 2.3 percent growth for 25 to 54-year-olds – older workers will propel U.S. employment growth in the next few years.

Steven Sass at Boston College says Americans 50 and over are less likely to stay with the same company until they retire than in the 1990s – they are better-educated and more skilled.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-27/older-workers-in-u-s-drive-competition-in-labor-market.html