More on Employment & Older Americans: They’re Looking for Work

My earlier post about sources 0f income for older Americans pointed out how it’s really earned income, money from working a job, that separates the upper income quartile of older Americans from the other 75% of older Americans with less income.  That alone blows a big hole in the image/myth of American retirement based on a balance of pension/social security/investments.

But now comes news that it’s getting harder to get that job.  The NYTimes notes at Number of Job Hunters 65 or Older Skyrockets that:

In fact, there are more Americans 65 and older in the job market today than at any time in history, 6.6 million, compared with 4.1 million in 2001.

Less well known, though, is that nearly half a million workers 65 and older want to work but cannot find a job — more than five times the level early this decade and this group’s highest unemployment level since the Great Depression.

The situation is made more dire because of numerous recent trends: many people over 65 have lost their jobs as seniority protections have weakened, and like most other Americans, a higher percentage of them took on debt than in previous generations.

Unfortunately, a near perfect storm is developing.  Demographics are bringing an increase in the absolute & relative numbers of older Americans as boomers age.  But the U.S. economy has lost it’s job-creating mojo.  It took 4 years to recover job-wise from the very mild, short recession of 2001.  The signs are that even if a recovery in GDP is underway now from the disastrous 2007-09 Great Recession, that job-creation isn’t happening and isn’t likely for awhile.   Not encouraging.