Baby Boomers Employment Bust

Posted On January 3, 2012

Baby Boomer Employment Bust ImageMany of the oldest, or “Leading Edge” Baby Boomers are staying on the job longer because they like to work or they haven’t saved enough for retirement. But a good number of them simply wish they had that option. Older Boomers who have lost their jobs due to the recession are having a tough time getting back into the workforce, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The unemployment rate among those ages 55-64 is about 6.5%. That’s below the national average but twice the rate for Boomers of just five years ago. More significant is the “underemployment” rate that also counts those who have only found part time work and those who have given up looking. That number is now at 17.4%. That means that 1 in 6 older Boomers can’t find full-time work.

Even more telling is older Boomers’ duration of unemployment. On average, they are out of work for over 56 weeks, by far the longest of any generational cohort. For comparison, Millennials, who have the highest generational unemployment rate, are only out of work for about 35 weeks, on average.

In the past, workers in this demographic might have simply retired after losing employment. Older Boomers, however, seem more determined to stay in the workforce. 67% of them have jobs or want jobs, up from 59% of the 55-64 age bracket in 1994.

Categories: Baby Boomers, Generations, Work