Skip to comments.Are Baby Boomers Stealing Jobs from the Young? (Part 1)
Posted on 05/12/2012 6:28:23 AM PDT by Kaslin
Walter Russell Mead writes on the disappearance of jobs for non-Baby Boomers:
An analysis of recent jobs figures at Investor.com reveals a disturbing development: the biggest beneficiaries from the economic recovery are Boomers, while everyone else is getting the shaft.
Since the Obama administration took office, there has been an epochal shift. Young workers have continued to lose jobs and incomes, while older workers have actually gained ground.
In fact, the Obama administration has seen a boom in the prospects of the 55+ crowd; their (I should say our) employment stands at a 42 year high. Net, there are 3.9 new jobs for people over 55 since the recession began in December 2007, but there are 8.1 million fewer jobs for the young folks since that time.
Jed Graham's IBD article features a chart that shows the employment-to-population ratio that applies for the following age groupings: Age 16-24, Age 25-55 and Age 55 and up:
In the chart, we see that those Age 55 and older would appear to have a near constant share of their population group having jobs.
Meanwhile, we see significant decreases in the employment share of the populations for both the Age 25-54 group and especially for the Age 16-24 group since December 2007, which marks the beginning of the so-called "Great Recession".
We thought that outcome was interesting enough to dig deeper into the data to see how the age distribution of the U.S. workforce has changed over this period of time.
And to make it really interesting, we've decided to go back to November 2006 to do it. Here's why:
The downside to our more detailed approach is that we're not going to be able to use the BLS' seasonally-adjusted data for these older five-year age groupings, because the BLS only reports the non-seasonally adjusted data it collects for them, which means that the data we'll be using won't match these more commonly reported values.
Still, because we'll be comparing the data for the same month (November) five years apart, our analysis should only differ in very minor respects from what might be achieved using seasonally-adjusted data, if it had been available.
We're going to do this in a three-part series of posts, with this post being the first. Our next stop: the change in the age distribution of the American workforce from November 2006 to November 2011!
BTW you clowns really need to come up with a new line.
They need some new material. I have a few ideas but won't give them any new ammo. Every time I see that "not voting for romney is the same as voting for obama" I wanna barf. Get something original people! Something that means something.
But no matter what they come up with, I don't vote for liberals.
I voted republican all my voting life until 2010 when here in Illinois the party put up Mark Kirk as their Senate candidate, his voting record as a congressman was more liberal than most democrats. I voted for the Libertarian candidate in that election. At least he was pro life and heterosexual. Kirk won despite my vote against him but I sure felt good about voting my conscience.
“Someone finally noticed what Ive been saying for a long, long time. Boomers are screwing everyone else over.”
Or is it that when someone hires a Boomer, they get someone who comes to work to actually work, not just show up and expect a pay check?
Maybe it’s because Boomers have work ethics missing from the pampered trophy-for-participation crowd.
Yep. My "Greatest Generation" grandfather quit working in the mid-1970s, able to fund a comfortable 30-year retirement on the rising values of his stock and real estate investments until passing away in 2005. Forty years of selling insurance afforded him 30 years of playing golf. There were millions his age who were able to do the same thing.
Not so for their boomer offspring. They work not because they want to but because they have to. They have little saved and little invested. They've taken on additional mortgages on homes that should have long ago been paid off. They've seen their paltry investments crumble and, in many cases, they've had to support children who can't find jobs that don't require wearing a name tag while trying to pay off student loans that cost as much as a house.
Most of human history showed that we worked until we dropped. The "Greatest Generation" was able to avoid this but it looks like we are returning to what has always been the norm.
Please explain your job qualifications. Maybe some us us older FReepers have been in the same boat and can help point you in the right direction. No insult intended, just FRiendly advice..... :)
“Free trade” is stealing jobs from all Americans.
Everything else, is partisan bickering.
Educated ambitious Boomers are stealing jobs from ignorant, lazy young people? How terrible is that! Go Boomers!!!
“they get someone who comes to work to actually work, not just show up and expect a pay check?”
Oh sure - they’ll eventually pay you, but actually hire you for a position? I’ve just had contract work and it’s pulling teeth to get them to actually pay for work done.
I have quite a few delinquent clients, folks who have gotten the work they asked for and haven’t paid. The younger folks are pretty good about paying you back because they understand, but boomer clients? I’ve got one who owes me 2 grand for work done in October. And I’m the deadbeat?
No, it is much more likely that they are the last ones fired due to union rules and age discrimination laws. They are also less likely to have child care problems and multiple family members requiring excessive insurance usage.
He’s prolife and doesn’t support gay marriage. Enough for me. Romney has had every position, and Obama supports gay marriage and abortion.
“No sympathy here JC. I moved out of my parent’s home at age 18. I lived in a basement efficiency apartment for the first 2 years, ate off of paper-plates and reused plastic utensils, rode the bus an hour one way to get to a part-time day job, then an hour back to get to the evening part-time job.”
Yeah 2 years. Gosh, that’s so tough. I’ve had 12 like that.
“Put myself through community college without financial aid or student loans.”
As did I.
“So yea, 3 part time jobs for 2 years. When was this prosperous time in my life? The late 1970’s and early 1980’s.”
And boomers think they have it so hard having to struggle for 2 years.
“You want my opportunities, now?”
Absolutely. If you had to suffer for two years before getting full employment, I would trade that for an instant.
Like I said, your two years has been 12 for me. You want to walk in my shoes, have them.
Also, most are higher in the pecking order and the last to be let go do to the age discrimination laws and union rules.
A trip through a union manufacturing plant like Ford or Boeing is like a trip to an old age home. Almost no one is under the age of fifty and those that are have been hired since the reorganizations and make half the pay and are the first to be let go.
“Drivng a wedge between the generations is not helpful.”
Grandfathering people is what is driving a wedge in the first place. Entitlements for thee and not for me.
Real pension reform would involve getting the pensions on a sustainable basis, getting people (especially in public service), to pay 50 percent of their contributions.
Rather then fix the system, they’d rather crash the system, so long as they get theirs. I have a real problem with that, but the benefit is that the folks behind us, won’t have to deal with the bloated system we have today. Because it will be utterly destroyed.
“Are baby-boomers stealing jobs, or are they 1)showing up on time 2)consistently 3)with tasks/projects completed on time? Do they 4)have experience and knowledge that the younger set has not yet accumulated? 5)Do they text or do Facebook all day long?”
Or showing up for interviews in flip flops and tongue piercings? Complaining and calling in sick from playing video games all night?
It is not that more boomers are being hired. It is that fewer are being laid off in the first place.
Sorry kid, but if you’ve been struggling for twelve years then I would say that you have not prepared yourself adequately for life.
You do work without any up-front payment and without vetting the person to whom you are giving your labor?
“Believe me, the older generation will support EVERY SINGLE younger who has the heart to be the caretaker of this great nation.”
Which is why you’re nominating Romney in opposition to Obama? I see just the opposite. Boomers are doing everything they can to destroy america while they can, and leaving us to foot the bill. Kick the can down the road. Oh, sure, they say they’ll support the younguns who believe in fiscal conservativism and social conservativism, but that’s not true for what they do.
I’ve been fighting for years, and you want to know the people that give me the most trouble? It’s not my peers. My peers are more amenable to the message. It’s the boomers.
You guys had a chance to nominate one of your own who does support us younguns. That was Rick Santorum. And rather then support him, you tossed him aside for Romney. And I’m supposed to believe that you are trying to help us?! I don’t see it.
What I see is a national debt that is run up higher, month after month, and that is going to cripple the nation. And what are boomers doing about it? Are they doing what they can do? No. Not at all, they are increasing spending even more.
It is between laying off the 356 year old with the spouse, three kids and the need to leave early to go to the school play while demanding that they all remain on your insurance policy.
Besides the union said the guy that hangs out in the can all day has to stay because he started four decades ago and the black guy and the woman both fill a quota.
I like that dude but damn he is white, under fifty and a man so he has to go.
“Sorry kid, but if youve been struggling for twelve years then I would say that you have not prepared yourself adequately for life.”
Well, I decided to go to school, and rather than racking up massive student loans, worked and paid for it all. That meant saving every thing I could.
Now I have my degree, and I’ve been working contract work ever since. I was hired just before Obama got elected to a full time position, and let go 6 months in, right at the height of the great recession.
It’s been part time and contract work ever since.
Things are different now than it was for you, but what would you understand? You’ve never had to deal with it. The one thing I am thankful for is that I’m debt free. Just need the job to go with it.
I suggest you get off your behind and move to a place where there is work.
This issue is too complicated to simply blame one generation or another.
I’m a Gen-Xer. My parents were pre boomers, born in 1934 and 1940. The boomers are better educated since public schools hadn’t been destroyed yet through PC. A HS graduate in 1960 probably has the equivalent of an associates degree today. Boomers have a much better work ethic.
Some boomers are why the public schools are failing now. The 60’s radicals took over education (Bill Ayers). My pre boomer algebra teacher could teach a rock how to do math. Her post retirement replacement, a graduate of a premier “teachers” program couldn’t sell water to a bedouin.
There are many positives and negatives to the Boomers. Painting them all with one brush is absurd.
Generation Y and the millenials to me seem hit or miss. I’ve encountered some of the most intelligent, motivated, hard working kids I’ve ever known among that group. Unfortunately there seems to be a large number of them that suffer from the “failure to launch” disease which IMHO comes directly from the destruction of the schools, total lack of personal accountability, and the PC culture of everyone gets a participation award.
“You do work without any up-front payment and without vetting the person to whom you are giving your labor?”
Client came recommended to me by my agent. Got in contact with them, did all the data entry for them ahead of schedule, sent it off, and they’d been delinquent since.
So, yeah. Call me a sucker for having a work ethic and doing the right thing for older folks willing to take advantage of me and my expertise.
“I suggest you get off your behind and move to a place where there is work.”
Which is why I live in TX now, and am basically starting over from scratch. Totally new place and I don’t know very many people here, but I’m working at it and trying to climg the ladder. :)
Let alone actually having the job and the job security to get married and raise some kiddos, seems to me right now as ‘unrealistic’.
Hey, I could do what the boomers have recommended that I do - go on disability! Like them. Collect a check every month. Maybe I should listen to my elders who have my best interests at hand, eh?
Boomers have not lost jobs or gained jobs they have kept jobs.
The group most affected by the job losses are those in the 25 to 50 age group.
THIS IS THE PRIME GROUP OF WORKERS WHO MOVE A MARKET!!!!
The are the ones buying new and bigger houses, kids shoes and clothes, new vans and payionfg for tuition to private school.
When they are out of work it is a tragedy for society.
Many in this age group are over forty. They have also worked since they where twelve, fifty, sixty and seventy hours a week and they are also the one that have always been the first out the door during layoff season.
“Generation Y and the millenials to me seem hit or miss. Ive encountered some of the most intelligent, motivated, hard working kids Ive ever known among that group. Unfortunately there seems to be a large number of them that suffer from the failure to launch disease which IMHO comes directly from the destruction of the schools, total lack of personal accountability, and the PC culture of everyone gets a participation award.”
Most of us just want the same things you do, a decent job, enough to raise a family and get married. What we are finding is that the only jobs that will hire us are all temporary, or contract work. Why? The business doesn’t have to provide for expensive things that boomers take for granted, like health care coverage, etc.
By keeping us on contract, they get the complete benefit of our labour, without having to deal with the rest of the nonsense, and the taxes associated with hiring people. It’s really just that simple.
Meanwhile, the boomers who are in their full time positions, with tenure and seniority, all under contract, are only to willing to meet their budget off the temps rather then cut back on their peers. If they can shave off the money at the bottom, then they can keep their benefits.
They can’t, in most cases, be fired, so they do the easy thing, hire temps, work us hard and then let us go when things get slow. Then we generation y folks are labelled ‘slackers’, ‘unreliable’, for not having all the things that you had when we were our age.
It’s a catch 22. I work for myself now, because I got tired of employers telling me I should be on disability. At least now, I can actually do things I enjoy without employers deciding how I should live my life. It would be perfect if my clients just paid for the work already done, and I’d be doing quite well.
Or even, gosh, giving me a job and a chance to show them what I can do. :)
“I know a heckuva lot of them whove been forced into raising their grandkids/great-grandkids because the parents are losers, addicts, drunks, or all of the above.”
Who raised them?
So, its just the boomers who are for Romney? If that is your world, you need to get out more. Who is going to listen to someone standing on the sidelines complaining about all the spending going on?
I have a history degree. I work part time as a teacher on contract for a private school. Waiting to get a slot so that I’m no longer parttime and move up to something more substantial.
I love my work, and I’m very good at it, but the opportunity hasn’t arisen just yet. Applied for positions in many places and been turned down. I teach middle school history and have done so for the last two years.
I also do data entry on contract to earn some extra bucks, and have been working recently as a runner for a local business here. They needed someone to drive around and pick up stuff, but didn’t want to go through the rigamarole of actually paying someone to be an employee. They just needed someone they could call a couple times a week to do running around, so that they didn’t have to do that themselves. So I do that right now.
Maybe because the older generation have work ethics,are dependable,honest and really know the job their doing.
“So, its just the boomers who are for Romney? If that is your world, you need to get out more. Who is going to listen to someone standing on the sidelines complaining about all the spending going on?”
Look, I’ll make this as simple as possible.
Clinton 2x, Bush 2x, Obama 1x, and now Obama or Romney. You’ve had 20 years to curtail spending, and now we’re supposed to believe that boomers are going to curtail spending now?
I don’t see it. Maybe if we vote another one in, you’ll do it this time, like you didn’t the last 5 times.
You’ve had your chance, and frankly, have taken America from a position of strength to being far weaker than she was in 1992.
The employment numbers are so horrible, not only have you taken us back to 1992, you’ve actually managed to eat away at the gains that the generation ahead of you brought forth.
We’re back to 1981 now, when the Boomers themselves were 35-20. In another couple months, we’ll likely get back to 1978 or so, and in another year, it could be 1955 at the peak of the boom.
Is it possible for one generation to not only spend everything they produced, but also to spend everything that others built up for them? We shall see.
Actually, I really feel your pain. As I noted before, I shoulder most of the responsibility for how spending got out of control. I’ve been pissed off about it since the 80s when Reagan let the Democratic-controlled Congress spend their asses off just so he could do the things he wanted to do. It is not as though we wanted all of this to happen. We didn’t. But why would you want to make the same mistake we did by thinking that we had no control over our government? It is not the boomer workers you should be scolding, but the politicians.
Glad to hear you came to Texas, though! Please consider getting some contract work in the oilfield industry. They are desperate for good, knowledgeable workers and the pay is great. The oil boom won’t last but a few years, but that may be what can tide you over.
Dude, in 2008, there were no Boomers over the age of 62. That's it.
>>Not to mention grandfathering pensions
That only lasts as long as they can keep floating municipal bonds to keep the ponzi scheme running.
And that wagon is running out of gas fast.
I guess people ought to choose when they are born....
Or maybe the government should have had some form of population control to keep all those babies from 'happening' in such a relatively short time.
Consider that those who have been doing the job for 30 years, might Know what they are doing.
Consider they grew up under a different work ethic than those who aren't permitted to run the french fry machine until they turn 18.
And consider that for the poor slobs who had the grave misfortune to be born at the tail end of the baby boom, the grass isn't any greener than it is for someone born 10 years later: the higher management positions aren't going to vacate until they are nearly retired, provided they get to--unless someone does stellar work.
Which is the bottom line: If you are good at what you do, work hard at it, and have some leadership qualities, you will rise to the top, provided you have some people skills as well.
Whining is not considered a skill.
Thanks! I know not all boomers are bad, far from it. But I have had the most difficulty dealing with boomer parents. I teach in a Catholic school, and I can’t tell you how many times I heard from them that they believed the Church was wrong about X, and that I was wrong to teach what the Church taught.
Assigning blame doesn’t change the fact that people who thought they would be in a position to retire are now raising second families instead. Which, IMO, ties into the topic of this thread.
Yep, that stopgap won’t save them. If they want to save it they are going to have to do real reform.
Apparently I’m the enemy of the boomers for wanting to fix the system outright so that it doesn’t go insolvant while the boomers are depending on it! I’m just pure evil...
>>I have a degree, worked hard, actually paid the darn thing off.
A few years ago I was on a jury with a physics professor from UC Irvine. During the trial he and I had lunch together and he articulated his utter disgust and dismay at the amount and degree of sophisticated cheating he found going on.
He said the students saw nothing wrong with their actions; that they justified their behavior with rationalizations — “everybody does it”, “it’s what you have to do to survive”.
So you can thank them, and those with their attitude, for the perception that your “degree” is worthless.
>>you wont even give us a chance.
Uhuh. There it is.
Your local military recruiter not hiring?
Sorry JC...still no sympathy or pitty for your party from me. You chose your career and well, I chose mine. And I’ve changed mine several times as well. Worked hard, went to college TWICE, changed careers at least 3 times. You want to play games with what people write to you and diminish them for being smart enough to change and grow...go blow your smoke somewhere else! You know or comprehend very little of what successful struggle is all about.
I don’t believe in getting into a rut or being afraid to reinvent myself. If you’ve decided to stay in a career rut for 12 years, you are the only person responsible for that CHOICE. Stop blaming everybody else for the choices you are making.
I'm a great-grandpa. I have been paying into Social Security since I was 14. Just give me back the money I put in and some employers contributed along the way, it's a tidy six figure sum. Just the principle. I won't live to see it, and I'm still working.
Now which of you wants to come out here and be responsible for $100,000,000.00 worth of projects a year, spend half or more of your days away from home every year, go days with sometimes three or four hours of sleep, work all hours or be on call, 24/7 until the job is done, away from family and friends, on location? Don't bother making long range plans, because that'll be when things happen. I haven't had a vacation nor a sick day in over 20 years. Benefits come out of pocket, because I'm a consultant.
(And then there are years when activity stops, and you live off your savings and what you can scratch together from odd jobs. Try wintering in North Dakota with no running water, skinning your own dinner, heating/cooking with wood, and using an outhouse.)
There are fewer than 10,000 people on the planet who do what I do for a living. I've paid my dues, adapted to sweeping technological changes, worked the sh*t jobs no one else could do or wanted to do, and I have earned (over more than three decades in this profession) the opportunity to keep doing it only so long as I do it well.
If you can keep up, you might be able to have the job you seem to think I have 'stolen' from you.
“So you can thank them, and those with their attitude, for the perception that your degree is worthless.”
And nothing to do with the professors who provide courses like ‘urban history’, or the ‘history of feminism.’
“Your local military recruiter not hiring?”
I’d love to serve, but I don’t reach the minimum requirements due to disability. If those were waived, great, but there’s not much I can do about it.
The unemployment/underemployment number for men between the ages of 25 and 50 is 1 in 5 (20%) if that isn't a depression, there never has been a depression.
The problem isn't that the older worker is harder working or more fit for the job. They simply have kept their jobs due to union and or regulatory reasons.
It is very simple math and logic.
Look at the charts. I assure you those who are in their thirties and forties are every bit as good and valuable as those over fifty fiver. But no one gets sued by thirty six year old white men who are released from work. Damn near every fifty-six year old woman beats a path to the nearest ambulance chaser to file an EEOC lawsuit the second someone six weeks younger is allowed to remain employed ahead of them.
“I dont believe in getting into a rut or being afraid to reinvent myself. If youve decided to stay in a career rut for 12 years, you are the only person responsible for that CHOICE. Stop blaming everybody else for the choices you are making.”
I’ve worked almost as many jobs as my age. :)
The guy you are telling to flip a burger is paying your Welfare benefits.
When someone in their thirties today retires it will take until they are 127 years old to get the payments made into SSI back.
Think it is a viable system any more?
>>The young are going to be the caretakers of this nation soon.
When most of “the young” can’t even change the oil in their own car or control their own obesity? Hah!
I observe what used to be skid row and the 5-points area of Denver.
It reminds me of Logan’s Run. A Socialist Utopia built for brain dead house bees.
The only thing being “taken care of” there is the bidness of the sterile oligarchs running the hive - until its collapse.
It’s here. If you where let go four years ago, like alot of people 30 -50 you would know that!
“I’m a great-grandpa. I have been paying into Social Security since I was 14. Just give me back the money I put in and some employers contributed along the way, it’s a tidy six figure sum.”
Stop taking it from my pocket and we have a deal.
“Now which of you wants to come out here and be responsible for $100,000,000.00 worth of projects a year, spend half or more of your days away from home every year, go days with sometimes three or four hours of sleep, work all hours or be on call, 24/7 until the job is done, away from family and friends, on location?”
Well, let’s see. I paid for my school by working 4 months out of the year out at a camp, every summer where I lived in a tent. 3 or 4 hours of sleep? Try getting up at 330 am and getting off the job at 9 or 10, eating, going back into your tent and trying to sleep enough, getting up and doing the same thing the next day.
Rain or shine, snow, even.
I’d wager you get paid substantially more than I did.
“I haven’t had a vacation nor a sick day in over 20 years.”
Sounds like heaven. I get slowdowns because they don’t have enough work to keep me going.
“Benefits come out of pocket, because I’m a consultant.”
“Try wintering in North Dakota with no running water, skinning your own dinner, heating/cooking with wood, and using an outhouse.”
Sounds like life growing up. :)
“If you can keep up, you might be able to have the job you seem to think I have ‘stolen’ from you.”
I just want a shot, that’s all I ask. I’ve done very well for every employer and client that I’ve ever worked for but none of them have taken me on full time.
There’s so much that I can do, but it gets discouraging when you are relied upon so much as a volunteer, but no one is willing to hire you. I can do the work just fine and I’ve been paying my dues.