Skip to comments.Employment numbers should jump / Economy will keep older workers on job
Posted on 07/17/2005 9:43:12 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Economists and employment specialists foresee worker bees getting older - and older. In the UCLA Anderson Forecast, a quarterly report on long-term prospects for the U.S. labor force, senior economist Michael Bazdarich focused on the ways aging Baby Boomers and "increasing life expectancies" will impact the economy - or, as he put it, "the growth path of production and consumption."
The upshot: Large numbers of people will be forced to work beyond what has been the traditional retirement age, sometime between 62 and 65.
That outcome is already materializing in the Antelope Valley, according to Shirley Kemp, the job service manager at the Employment Development Department in Lancaster.
Though Kemp did not know the precise number of older job seekers who walk through the doors at the Lancaster site, she did have figures for those who accessed the Cal Jobs system, EDD's online employment resource.
Between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2005, Kemp said 2,306 individuals age 55 and older from the Antelope Valley used the Cal Jobs system.
Throughout California, "the average age of the labor force is increasing," Kemp said.
"Nearly 45% of Californians in the labor market are age 40 or older. The number of workers (age) 45 to 54 will increase more than 50% by the year 2006."
Meanwhile, "the rate of younger workers entering the job market is diminishing," she emphasized.
"What makes these phenomena important is that they will result in a substantial shrinkage of the labor force relative to the total population, in effect reducing the number of producers relative to the number of consumers. "With that shrinkage, standards of living in the United States will be squeezed, both for workers and for retirees. That squeeze, in turn, is an important, multifaceted development of which the Social Security trauma is but a single manifestation."
His rested his premise on a two-pronged foundation - an abundance of Baby Boomers and a "prolonged Baby Bust." In the years following World War II, mothers and fathers procreated - a lot. But their offspring, the Baby Boomers, didn't follow that lead.
As "elderly folks" achieve even longer life spans and current employment participation by the over-55 set continues, the U.S. labor force will "slow substantially," Bazdarich predicted. Given that scenario, he said the ratio of "consumers to workers will decline dramatically, stressing standards of living in the U.S., due to declining levels of output per person and income per person.
Bazdarich cited poor retirement resources - the fragile state of Social Security and deficient pension plans - as another part of the equation that keeps older workers on the job.
Lancaster resident Patsy Siegle, 66, is one of those people who feels as though she will work forever.
Siegle, an office assistant at EDD, really likes her job. But she also needs to work. She considers herself something of a latecomer in the employment sector because she entered the work force later in life, after raising her family.
She said all the talk about the population explosion and saving the world really affected her choices early on. Now, with not much of a pension built up, Siegle said, "I'm one of those who's working as long as I'm able to work."
At age 80, Palmdale resident Dottie Alba thrives at work. Weekdays find her at the Palmdale Senior Center, where she spends anywhere from 20 to 35 hours as a program leader on the Palmdale payroll. She moved to Palmdale when her daughter relocated from the San Fernando Valley.
"At the time, I was working in accounts receivable at Encino Hospital. I worked there for 13 years. Then I retired. I was retired for four years.
"I decided, financially, I should go back to work. I went to work for the city, starting at Desert Aire Golf Course. It was leased by the city." That was back in 1991, and Alba said she worked there almost six years in the pro shop.
When the city terminated its lease with the golf course, Alba transferred to the city-run Senior Center near Courson Park.
Although her paychecks help supplement her Social Security benefits, Alba said her job is a "pleasure, too."
"I have many, many friends. I enjoy working. I enjoy people. I could not stand to sit home and watch TV all day. This keeps me busy. All the seniors who come in are very nice. And the city is a great place to work."
Alba, who has an independent streak and so lives on her own, said a few of the seniors who frequent the center "would like to find a part-time job." Others find contentment in retirement.
As for Alba, she said, "I think if people are in good health and happy, it doesn't hurt to work. It keeps them young."
As the Baby Boom generation ages, economists and employment specialists envision a work force that grows increasingly grayer around the temples. They arrived at that conclusion largely based on birth-rate statistics in the years following World War II and medical and technological advances that help people live longer, plus surveys and longitudinal studies that focused on the work habits of a select age range of Baby Boomers.
Based on information from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:
By 2012, the number of employed or those seeking work will reach 162.3 million.
That same year, Baby Boomers will be between 48 and 66 years old.
During the 10 years between 2002 and 2012, the annual growth rate of workers 55 and older will be 4.1%, almost four times the rate of growth for the entire labor force.
Data provided by the AARP indicate between 2002 and 2012, the number of workers age 45 and older will grow nearly 27%, while those age 16 to 44 will grow 3%.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate by the year 2030, the number of older Americans will more than double to 70 million, representing one in every five people.
In a longitudinal study of work trends among Baby Boomers born between 1957 and 1964 - the somewhat arbitrary calendar dates for that generation - the Bureau of Labor Statistics found:
Younger baby boomers held an average of 10 jobs from age 18 to 38.
Typically, men changed employers slightly more often than women in the same age range.
On average, men and women changed jobs more frequently in their late teens and early 20s than in their mid-30s.
I'm counting on working til I am 70.
I plan to die with my boots on.
Good...someone has to support me....
After watching several state or federal employees, between the ages of 55-60 "retire" (with at least 75% of their wages, AND full health benefits for themselves and 1/2 benefits for their spouses) I figure the smart thing is to work for the government! Forget about paying into social security, forget about having to be 65 before you get medicare...just retire and let the rest of us take care of you until you reach 95!
IMO, something HAS to be done to change the benefits packages of these retirees...at least they could follow the same set of rules as the rest of us!?!
When I'm around 60, I'm quitting my job and moving to the South or Southwest. I will then probably open a small bar and grill out in the middle of nowhere in some dusty town and spend the rest of my days making drinks and sandwiches for my patrons. During breaks and offtime, I'll go to a corner booth to catch up on some reading or surfing of the Internet over a cold one that will always be on the house!
I want a job with the pay I deserve..... :(
Sounds great to me. Retirement, as in quitting your job, is overrated. Unless you're in poor health, working is GOOD for you.
Of course the people making the rules like the system the way it is. They aren't caught up in the social security system and the threats of constantly delayed retirement ages. I have several relatives that have been able to retire in their early 50's and they are all government employees. I cannot believe more attention is not being given to the inequity of the "haves" with their out of this world retirement plans, and us "have nots" who can only dream of such a good deal yet have to work even longer and harder to help pay for theirs. I wonder how much taxes will have to be raised once government retirement systems get to the point that they don't have the funds to support their retirees for 30 to 40 years that many of them will live after they retire.
You lazy slacker.
Don't you know that your president is counting on you to remain a "competitive" workforce peon until you're at least 85?
Now get out there and put in your application at WalMart right NOW.
(Since you obviously speak English, you're unqualified for the drive-thru at Mickey-D's.)
"I want a job with the pay I deserve."
What's stopping you? Have you ever considered working for yourself? I do. smartest thing I ever, ever did. I have multiple streams of income, and I'll be retired at age 55 within 10 years, God Willing. And by "retired" I mean I'll have enough in the bank generating income and no debts, so I can choose to "work" or not.
I'm no Rocket Scientist. If you need some help or guidance, just let me know. I firmly believe that EVERYONE has talents and skills they can exploit for financial gain. :)
None of this applies to me I'm a salesman! Everybody I knows thinks I've been retired for the last 30 years. I've been told that I should expect retirement to be a let down after what I have been doing.
As far as ever crying about what anybody else has I thank God every day for what he's allowed me over my life.
those of us who dare to keep saying to the idiot Senators:
"I want what YOU have" need to crank it up a bit...
President Bush has offered a viable alternative to younger workers who will have a chance at a decent retirement..
while boomers who have plodded along assuming the government was doing the right thing for them will have a huge awakening...
and this all hits boomers as they round the curve on paying for college tuitions, weddings, etc...only to face the cold harsh facts....they should have saved the money for themselves...
Uhhhh... that's supposed to be a joke, isn't it?
no, not a joke....I wish I had had the chance to invest some/all of the retirement money I have paid out in the last many years, prior to my 401k....
The average govt workers retirement fund is more secure and better invested than private company plans. So they will retire early and not have to worry about their old company going bust.
The Dems don't want Social Security reform, because it might short circuit the cash pouring in to pay the Govt workers and put in their own retirement plans.
The fixed benefit plans and SS are both frauds and both should be outlawed.
"After watching several state or federal employees, between the ages of 55-60 "retire" (with at least 75% of their wages, AND full health benefits for themselves and 1/2 benefits for their spouses) I figure the smart thing is to work for the government!"
Unfortunately many of us work in the private work force. Whenever they downsize, they target the employees in their fifties since they are earning more money than a newbie off the street would be paid by them.
Of course, that doesn't mean that if someone retires early no matter what that he can live longer. It may mean that rich people who can afford to retire early end up living longer. It's no surprise that rich people live longer than poor people.