Older Americans working longer, keeping their kids from finding jobs
With the economy still bumping along and a recovery still off in the future, many Americans over age 55 are continuing to work. More than ever, older Americans are staying in the workforce, which is making it harder for their children to find jobs.
Twenty-somethings looking for jobs and having little success don't need to look far to find who to blame.
More than half of the Baby Boomer generation has passed age 55 and most of them are still in the work force, staying longer than generations before. In 1995, about 30 percent of those over 55 were working. Now, that number is over 40 percent.
When coupled with the sheer number of baby boomers, that's making it difficult for young people to find work. It's also, however, keeping the unemployment rate high. If the 2 million Americans over age 55 decided to retire, unemployment would drop from about 9 percent to just 7.6 percent, according to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Josh Feinman, chief economist for Deutshe Asset Management, said this trend has been happening slowly for a while, but has accelerated as people realize they're living longer, healthier lives, where they are able to work for longer periods of time.
Plus, jobs are less demanding, physically, than they used to be, he said.
"The more older people who stay in the labor force and participate, the bigger the economy is," Feinman said. "The longer people work, the longer they pay taxes...they contribute."
Gad Levanon, director of macro economic research at The Conference Board, says the recession is to blame for many people choosing to stay in the workforce.
"People are much less prepared now for retirement than they thought they were three or four years ago," he said.
People who have been unemployed or underemployed during the recession often has to eat into their retirement savings in order to get by.