My Two Cents

The older worker

Chris Farrell Jun 20, 2009

This comes from David Rosenberg. he used to be chief economist at Merrill Lynch. He is now with Gluskin Sheff. Rosenberg always finds intriguing trends to highlight. This one is striking.

What really struck us in the employment report of a few weeks ago was the fact that the only segment of the population that is gaining jobs is the 55+ age category. This group gained 224,000 net new jobs in May while the rest of the population lost 661,000. In fact, over the last year, those folks 55 and up garnered 630,000 jobs whereas the other age categories collectively lost over six million positions. This is epic.

Moreover, the number of 55 year olds and up who have two jobs or more has risen 1.1% in the last year, the only age cohort to have managed to gain any multiple jobs at all. Remarkable. These folks have seen their wealth get destroyed by two bubble-busts less than seven years apart …

He’s right. This is epic. Is this more evidence that the postwar trend toward earlier and earlier retirement is reversing. I think so. The other thing: Are employers more willing to hire experienced workers these days in light of a reasonable forecast of weak demand for yars to come. In other words, experience is less of a handicap because it’s easier to wring out productivity improvements from older workers:? If so, is this a factor in the very weak job market for recent college graduates? My guess is yes.

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