All of the Employment Gains for 20 Years Are From Those Aged 60 and Over

Mish

Here's a fascinating look at employment trends for the past 20 years and what's driving them.

Demographics Plus the Employment Population Ratio

St. Louis Fed writer William Emmons notes the chart is a function of population growth and the Employment-Population ratio.

What’s Driving This Outcome

  1. The older population (60 and older) grew much faster than the younger population (16-59). 
  2. The employment-to-population (E-P) ratio among those 60 and older increased significantly while the E-P ratio among the younger population declined, on balance. 
  3. The older population is likely to continue growing faster than the younger group. 
  4. The E-P ratio of the 60 and older group is likely to increase further as the health and educational attainment of older people continues to improve and the demand for older workers persists. 

The above points from Older Workers Accounted for All Net Employment Growth in Past 20 Years

Burger Biggie

This reminds me of something I said just before and during the great recession. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link but it went like this.

"Parents will be competing with their kids and grandkids for jobs."

Well here we are. 

When I grew up there was hardly anyone over the age of 50 working in fast food chains. 

Now? What percentage of fast food, Sam's Club, or Walmart greeters are under the age of 50? What percentage are part-time?

What About Employer Health Care Coverage?

Note that Health Care Coverage for part-time employees is optional.  

Those between the age of 60 and 65 cannot wait to reach the age of 65 so they can get on Medicare. 

Obamacare Impact

Thanks to Obamacare, younger workers pay more than their fair share as a subsidy to their parents and grandparents.

Push for $15 Minimum Wage

The push for $15 in minimum wage plus rapidly rising health care costs further incentivizes part-time work, overseas outsourcing, and robotics to eliminate the jobs altogether.

That's the rest of the story.

Mish

Comments (67)
No. 1-18
Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I’ll have to say I’m coming around to the notion that a $15/hr minimum wage is a bad thing. More especially because of mass migration and the continued likelihood that we will have no choice but to continue to assimilate so many uneducated young non-English speaking economic and social refugees.....which is really what we have at the border.

It denies people the right to better themselves by working harder and longer....which is the only way those people are about to improve their lot. Native born citizens are so indoctrinated with a sense of entitlement that I doubt many of them would benefit....but the people with the guts to walk a thousand miles to get here? They would benefit....and the economy would benefit.

So...no way we do anything here but the wrong thing....it is frustrating to see the same mistakes being made...expecting different outcomes.

I am not competing with my children...I am working FOR the benefit of my children, ultimately. I am in a position to make the rest of their lives better, unless I let the medical-industrial complex eat my wealth.....not planning for that to happen.

Frilton Miedman
Frilton Miedman

Purely anecdotal, but bears mention, Millennial work ethic is a turn-off to some employers.

I've had experiences with Millennials where they'll argue for 15 minutes whether or not a five minute task is their responsibility, the same task employee's over 50 just do.

I've heard numerous similar experiences with friends my age dealing with this age group.

IMO, this is the result of politically correct parenting of the 80's-90's+, children raised of the belief that right or wrong is negotiable and the worst that can happen is a "time out in the corner".

axiom
axiom

You most definitely came to that exact conclusion years ago.

That chart also shows that the economic losses from Covid were shifted from older people to the young people least (almost not) vulnerable to it. Expect more riots this summer. and this chart doesnt even pick up socialization and developmental losses from remote/closed schools, etc.

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

At age 68, I started to reduce my work. Started to collect Social Security.
At age 70.5, I reduced my work by another 80%.
At age 72, I am down to 20 minutes/day.
I expect to be at zero soon.
Why should I work? We have $1.9M in our retirement accounts.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Hard to disagree with Rudy, maybe a few years around the GFC, but to keep it up for 11+ years was moronic.

PostCambrian
PostCambrian

The statistic that you cite is a symptom of poor economic growth caused by many factors including ZIRP but "Obamacare" had little to do with it.

The ACA (Obamacare) cost impact on younger adults only affects those who buy health care individually not through employer provided plans so the ACA doesn't incentivize part time work. What incentivizes part time work is the requirement to provide health care coverage only to full time workers. So to make it fair either remove the requirement to provide health care coverage to employees or include the requirement to provide pro-rata health care coverage to part time employees. The health care system is totally screwed up in this country but it is not the fault of the ACA. The ACA is an imperfect attempt to make coverage more affordable. Almost all other developed countries do better for less. If the young adult does not qualify for an employer provided plan then there is a good chance that if his parents are providing him coverage through ACA they are saving more money on their own health care than they pay extra for their adult children.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

“90% of success is just showing up.” - Alan Stewart Konigsberg

“”Never complain, never explain” - Henry Ford II

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

The old adage "put your own oxygen mask on first" comes to mind.

Increasing the supply of unskilled labour into the pool before sorting out problems is a recipe for disaster socially. The only beneficiary is capital, not "the people". The "people" will begin to war against each other as resources become more stretched & politicians look on and repeat the same policies and behaviours that created the problems.

Unfortunately I see nothing on the horizon to improve the situation, only for it to worsen.

The wealth effect in equities and housing is due to reverse adding fuel to the fire in the middle class as they are pushed down in the wealth ladder to the masses beneath.

A hard rains gonna fall and Trump will bless the day Biden and his team took over.

I'm sorry these reads so negatively, I hate these thoughts & hope I am wrong.

This is historic, the self-destruction of the most powerful nation on earth.

Realist
Realist

An interesting topic. Though I’m not even sure what your point is.

Some random thoughts:

Why are you talking about one group fighting for work vs another group? Old workers vs young workers. Why is everything in the US a big fight between different groups? Again, I am unsure of your point.

Why is retirement something that is desired? I certainly don’t want to be put out to pasture. Why should we spend so much time in our lives acquiring valuable skills, only to throw them away because we reach a certain age? And why should society want to waste such valuable talent? There is so much work to do, and so many problems to solve, it seems stupid to ‘retire’ such valuable assets. Would you buy an automobile, use it for 3 years, and then leave it to rust until it is completely useless? You shouldn’t waste valuable resources.

Why the focus on minimum wage? Why not focus on why there are so many poorly educated workers in the US, without the necessary skills to justify paying them a decent wage? If you want to remain a wealthy country, you need a highly educated, highly skilled workforce.

ColoradoAccountant
ColoradoAccountant

IMO the US turned away from education in trades when we outsourced manufacturing, and turned to higher education to add value to our workforce. However, so did other countries seeking more valuable, educated workers, even if they kept their trades education. Germany comes to mind.

quixote2u
quixote2u

The older folks are taking the minimum wage/low hours to supplement social security income for a living income total. The younger generations are not taking the same jobs/hours as they are inadequate as a living wage. They have to take two crap jobs to exist. If a couple with kids, they need to find 4 crap jobs that can mesh/shuffle hours.

Since2008
Since2008

I remember you writing that, Mish.

Since2008
Since2008

I clearly remember you writing that, Mish.

Rbm
Rbm

Im sure 15 dollars may be a big increase in some places. Here in slightly northern ca it seems to be the general base for pretty much any job. Not sure about fast food. If you want a high school kid to
Weed eat your yard its 15 bucks an hour. Exp. see everything grows in the winter and dies by june. So you let it grow then weed wack it once and your done for the summer.

Rbm
Rbm

Oh yeah do you think a higher wage will move people off government support to some degree / make them more dependable workers / and more productive.

Think48
Think48

Hello....it doesn’t matter what $ the minimum wage is, for the greater $ the ppl make the bigger the piece is that goes to political entities rather then the ppl it was meant to help, but it’s ok the politicians will just talk lame brains into “ahhh it’s for this it’s for that” meanwhile it’s political careers that should be taken out of business like they did to mom and pop shops that force your mom and dad who became grandparents who would’ve opened that shop but now have to compete for jobs with a 16 yrd. Why is the president the only politician who has a deadline of only 8years and all others get to scam?? Especially with vacations and the political season that’s the worst, the only reason they took off for the summer is because back in 1700s-1800s ac hasn’t been invented yet so they took off for them months cuz no one wants to argue in 100d heat..but now they can do it with ac and they still take the season off????

Quanta
Quanta

The solution is not to increase minimum wage, but to ensure that CEO salaries are capped, and anything over that is distributed to employees.

Quanta
Quanta

And by salary capping I meant total compensation, including stocks, options etc...


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