Monday, September 15, 2014

Older Workers, Retired Workers, Aging Workers (bla, bla, bla.)

We're damned if we do and damned if we don't (work). Lets start with the Heritage:

"In addition to more than 6 percent unemployment five years after the recession officially ended, labor force participation has fallen sharply since the recession began in December 2007. Today, 6.9 million fewer Americans are working or searching for work. The drop in unemployment since 2009 is almost entirely due to the fact that those not looking for work do not count as unemployed. Demographic factors explain less than one-quarter of the decreased labor force participation. The rest comes from increased school enrollment and more people collecting disability benefits. Over 6 percent of U.S. adults are now on Social Security Disability Insurance. This is no time to make it more difficult for businesses to create jobs." (* They don't take comments, and I wouldn't waste my time trying to convince them any different anyway.)

Now we'll see what others have to say...

Americans roughed up by economy: "Only 61 percent of experienced workers (at least three years with the same employer) who lost their jobs from 2011 to 2013 were re-employed by early 2014, reports the Labor Department." (Does anybody know where I can get this report?)

The Fiscal Times: The Threat That Could Scar the Economy for Decades: "More than five years after the recession ended the U.S. economy is only one-third to half the way to fully recovered."

THIS IS DIFFERENT --> VPR (Steve Zind) "One striking feature is the only age group that saw an increase in jobs over the period [from September 2011 to March 2014] is workers 54 and older. Even more striking: Prime-age workers, ages 25 to 54, actually saw a decline.

Older Workers, Retired Workers and Aging Workers Blamed for Declining Work Force (Total B.S.)

Reuters: Drop in U.S. workforce due to aging, not weak economy: Fed paper (Comments are closed at that Reuters post, but there's a discussion at Reddid.)

Pessimism about U.S. growth rates (posted my comment below)

The Hill: Aging population, discouraged workers weigh on labor market size (posted my comment below)

The Fiscal Times: The Unsolved Jobs Mystery Facing the Fed (posted my comment below)

Now, this is what I had to say (My comment):

Some economists are saying that older workers aren't leaving the work force and are working longer to recoup losses in their homes and retirement funds (AARP polls show this); and these same economists are saying older workers aren't leaving the work force to make room for younger people fresh out of high school or college (creating less "churn" in the labor market).

But at the same time, there are other economists (and some of the same) who are saying that the decline in the labor force is because of an "aging work force" — even though the first Baby Boomer didn't retire (EARLY at the age of 62) until 2008 — yet the long decline in the labor force participation rate began falling in April of 2000. Why did the CBO report only focus on the decline since the recession began in 2007?

But even so, since the recession ended, we've had 1 million a year retiring on Social Security — and 3 million a year graduating from high school (wanna-be prime-age workers); and this doesn't include college grads, who are taking jobs that don't require college degrees and are displacing those with only a high school education or a GED. At this rate, one would eventually need a PhD to flip burgers, work for the sanitation department or join the Army. (More here...)

Why not just say that the "job creators" aren't creating enough jobs because their profits are already at record highs and they see no need to repatriate profits from overseas or reinvest them (or risk them) here at home. They have been doing "more with less" and will continue to offshore, downsize, automate and robotize whenever they can.

The first electric car was just made with a 3-D printer. How long will it be before all human labor is obsolete? When will the job creators start being taxed to pay all the displaced workers a Basic Income?

I took issue with the CBO before on two other occasions:

March 1, 2014 - CBO Wrong on Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR)

February 7, 2014 - 2014 CBO Report on Labor Force—Debunked

(From last January) Washington Post: The biggest question facing the U.S. economy: Why are people dropping out of the workforce? (96 comments)

The short answer is: There aren't enough jobs!

F.Y.I. --- My two latest videos at YouTube:

A Lifetime for the 99ers 

Prelude to the 2015 American Revolution


  1. 15 years ago older workers weren't leaving the work force to make room for younger people because they didn't have anything better to do with their time. Now they don't leave because they're trying to recoup what they lost in 2008. No matter what the reason, older workers will always hang on until the bitter end. When they finally do leave, their position will either be eliminated or downgraded. This is why young people no longer have a chance in this country.

  2. And the GOP wants to raise the retirement age to 70.