Demographic Story Coming to the Fore

(Invictus here, ladies and gents):

Shortly after the minimum wage was raised last year, the right-wing chorus rose up and began to assert that the rise in teen unemployment was directly attributable to the more generous pay scale.  To my eye, and based on numbers I’d crunched, I thought demographics were much more at play (note: that’s “much more,” not “exclusively”), and said so here last September:

There is evidence – real, actual evidence! – that it’s the 55+ age cohort staying in – or re-entering – the job market that is much more at play than the minimum wage…Where there had been less than 2.5 workers 55+ per teen worker in the year 2000, that number has now jumped to a record 5.5…As a percent of the workforce, the 55+ age cohort has now reached a new record of 19.4%, clear evidence that older workers are squeezing younger workers from the workforce.

and here last November:

…simple demographics coupled with the damage wrought by this recession on the Baby Boom generation — in terms of both real estate and investment portfolios (particularly retirement portfolios) — is so great that many Boomers have realized they’re going to have to postpone retirement (see one story on that here, there are thousands on “postponing retirement” out there on The Google).

I reiterated that position here at TBP last month when illegal immigrants became the target of choice for stealing teen employment:

What about demographics — an aging boomer population — and a crappy economy that has  the 55+ cohort postponing retirement and consequently crowding out the younger generation (parents keeping their own kids/grandkids out of the job market, as I put it a while back).  The data is there for all who choose to explore it.

Well, now comes Bloomberg news with this:

Workers Over 65 Vie With Teens in Labor Market for First Time Since Truman

U.S. employees old enough to retire are outnumbering their teenage counterparts for the first time since at least 1948 when Harry Truman was president, a sign of how generations are now having to compete for jobs.

Bloomberg provides some very cool interactive features (that are way beyond my capabilities and definitely worth checking out).

I guess the facts continue to have a well-known liberal bias.

(Notes:  A BLS study — “As the baby-boom generation ages, the share of workers in the 55-years-and-older age group will increase dramatically…” — analyzed this trend in detail here (.pdf) last November, thankfully after I’d already written about it.  Also, this demographics angle was recently picked up by the NY Times Economix blog via the San Francisco Chronicle (which cited Bloomberg, closing the loop), but you did read it here — or other places I’ve written about it — first.)

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