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Young and Can’t Find Work? Blame Old People


Unless you were born during the Truman Administration or earlier, your age group has not recovered from pre-recession employment levels.


(Photo Credit: NCDOTcommunications/flickr)

Not only are more Americans over 60 finding work, but they are working at close to record-breaking levels.

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This summer, about 36 percent of men and 26 percent of women between the ages of 65 and 69 are working, which is the highest rate since 1981, according to the New York Times.

On the other end, employment of men and women under the age of 30 is still down significantly. Employment is down about 6 percent for men and 3 percent for women between the ages of 25 and 29 since 2007.

“What appears to be happening is that many people are postponing retirement if they can, while younger people are having trouble getting jobs,” wrote Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent for the New York Times.

But before you get on the phone to yell at Grandma that her friends are taking all the jobs, take a breath. Many of the jobs taken by older Americans are part-time gigs, which typically increase during recessions, according to a CNBC report.

Employers might be leaning towards older workers over younger workers for part-time jobs because they are, on average, more consistent and reliable workers, according to a study published in Psychological Science.

The researches found 20-somethings were more likely to do a better job, but they lacked the consistency of their elders.

The good news for people just starting their careers is the situation should improve, eventually.

“I think we’ll see a decline in the amount of part-time workers and an increase in full time,” said Rob Valletta, an economic research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. “It’s just going to take a while for the job market to get better.”


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Are employers smart to hire older workers as opposed to younger workers for part-time work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


Patrick Creaven
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