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Thursday, February 2, 2012


 A recent article proclaimed that there would be 32.4 million replacement job openings between 2008 and 2018, as baby-boomers exit the workforce.  The first thought that came to mind was, “Really…how can we be certain that these folks can even afford to retire?”

A completely different article stated that young Americans seemed to be having a much tougher time finding work than older workers. It seems that the overall workforce is getting older. Workforce participation of workers over 55 has risen 11 percent since December 2007.

The consensus seems to point to the fact that many workers will need to remain in the workforce to approximately 70 years of age in order to replenish the losses of recent years.  Think about that. Of course this is assuming that they are able to find someone willing to employ them at that point in their lives.

But even if older workers decide to stick around an additional 5 years, think about the impact that decision will have on the following generations of workers.

Hypothetically speaking, a 65-70 year old worker remaining in the workforce has an impact on the average 45-50 year old worker, who in turn impacts the work life of the average 25-30 year old worker and so it goes.

Through in the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression and you can see where this is headed.

The truth is a little murkier than what we would think intuitively. No one owns any particular job. The economy is always creating new opportunities. As we know, businesses get created and others go the way of the dinosaurs.  In addition, how often is a younger person in direct competition for the position currently held by an older worker?

Do you think that older workers end up hurting the younger set by sticking around longer?

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