Where The Jobs Are: "55 And Older"

Tyler Durden's picture

A good jobs report? Sure, if one is 55 and over. In December the American jobs gerontocracy continued its relentless course, and as the two charts below summarize since Obama's first term, some 2.7 million jobs in the 16-55 year old category have been lost. The "offset": 4 million jobs for Americans between 55 and 69. For all those young people graduating from college (with $150,000 in student loans) who are unable to get a job, here is our advice: tell your parents, and grandparents, to retire already. Oh wait, they can't because Bernanke destroyed their savings. Oops - better luck next time.

Job "gains" for all Americans 54 and younger vs those 55 and older:

And the same broken down by segment:

Source: BLS

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
yogibear's picture

Just claim your disabled. Plenty of police and firemen do it to get early retirement.

GMadScientist's picture

In the increasingly retail-only available distro of jobs, they will predominantly be kept by the responsible among us who show up to work, even when their knees and back hurt, aren't prone to decide to go to "burning man", or show up with pinwheel eyes on ecstasy talking about how they "looooove the customers".

Rational Man
Don't give me your claptrap
Don't give me your stinking words
You make me feel like a fat sap
Hapless, in a dirty shirt
But I'm a rational man.
Days are darker now
The moon sleeps in the woods
Dogs that wander, pondering
Mysteries in the blood
Oh, you made a brave mistake

Living in a failed state.
Dig deeper we must now
Strain and drang, resist the pull
Your snubbed fire is worthless
I got a dark hole to fill
Oh, it was farcical
Living on popsicles
Don't shoot, Donna.


"As he came near they all stopped their work to gaze upon him, for to them he appeared like a messenger of the Fairy Folk or an angel from heaven. He set his hand to the boulder, and with a mighty heave he lifted? it from where it lay and set it rolling down the hill. And the men raised a shout of wonder and applause; but their shouting changed in a moment into cries of terror and dismay; Oisin fell feeble and staggering, a man stricken with extreme old age."

yogibear's picture

Obama will put the 20 somethings to work fighting a war the banksters will make loads of money from.

Timeline like that of the 1930s. Stocks crash, currency devaluation (now), then a huge war.

We are at the devaluation stage.

Shizzmoney's picture

55 year olds vote, hence why they get the jobs.

The younger people don't vote because, we know its all bullshit - so, ergo, we don't get jobs (or at least good ones that can help us pay our living expenses, never mind debt).

lolmao500's picture

Yep. Young folks don't watch the MSM BS on TV... the only ones still believing the government and media propaganda are the old folks.

RSBriggs's picture

And your conclusion is, watching the MSM BS on TV gets you a job?

They don't watch much TV, they're too busy working, and wouldn't watch shit like "Dancing with the Stars" if you paid them....

Shizzmoney's picture

And your conclusion is, watching the MSM BS on TV gets you a job?

I think his point is that the MSM/TV tells the older folk who watch this fodder how to get in line, what political bullshit to parrot when confronted with "facts", and how to think towards each other (i.e, create divisions that distract people from talking about the REAL issues).

In essence, get in fucking line.  if you get in line and take on this debt like we tell you to, and don't question it, and defend this corrput system, you will be "rewarded" for it.

Freddie's picture

TV and Hollywood are such total sh*t.  It is for idiots and retards.  The morons still believe the crap on TV. 

spooz's picture

Is this supposed to be sarcastic?  Sometimes its hard to tell...

GMadScientist's picture

Would love to see the same breakdown, but for "with college degree" and "without college degree" split...compare it with 2005 and watch the agg income dragging exodus from productive labor to subsistence employment.


Shizzmoney's picture

I dunno since 2005 (would love to know this number, GMad!), but here are those numbers for 2012:

Employment change over 2012, by education: HS or less -192k; Some college +563k; College+: +1.68million

What's funny is the fact that various think tanks, including this from the World Economic Forum, continue to somewhat spread this myth that young people, around the world, are "unemployable":


As we think about the challenges we will face in 2013, unemployment remains at the top of the agenda. As a 26-year-old, I keep asking myself whether we are a scarred generation or if society will be able to create the 600 million productive jobs needed over the next decade.

According to the ILO, young people are three times as likely as adults to be unemployed and more than 75 million young people worldwide are currently looking for a job. Yet, the young are not the only ones affected by the deteriorating labour markets. Millions of adults have also lost their jobs as a result of the crisis. Indeed, statistics reveal that global unemployment soared to about 200 million in 2012.

From the US to Pakistan, people have been gathering in masses to protest against unemployment. The rising sense of despair around the globe is undisputable. Consider the case of Spain, which has an official unemployment rate of 26.2% and a youth unemployment figure of 55.9%.

As we struggle to create additional jobs over the next decade to simply stabilize unemployment, how can we bridge this mismatch? It is critical for society to consider the roots of the problem and take action. Are we unemployed or unemployable? In other words, are there no jobs or do we not have the skills and qualifications needed to get jobs?

This is where the problem stems: the issue isn't that people are unemployable.  The issue is the fact that capital was extracted from the potential working class to the hands of government and financial oligarchs, through fraud, and protected by force. 

If corporations, banks, and governments thought that this was such a "critical" issue, incomes wouldn't have declined by 11% in the last 30 years.

We don't have a skills gap.  We have an income gap. 

GMadScientist's picture

I think the real problem is an ear-gap...in employers.

Modern corps do not train people anymore instead relying on the vagaries of headhunters and other phrenologists to try to ferret out just the right talent (which, paradoxically, induces people to switch jobs more often so every company is constantly rebuilding expertise that walks out the door!).

I compare this with my own experience of working in industry on the cheap while in school for local businesses that were willing to take on smart but inexperienced kids and give them a mentor and "real work" (in my case, learning C and how to write compilers...skills I still use today in many different ways).

This is where real productivity gains come from!

RSBriggs's picture

They still do, but the inexperienced kids now live in India, have their 3 month IT degree from a local PolyTech Institute,  and work for about USD $10 per DAY.

Shizzmoney's picture

GMad and RBriggs on point, here.

Another reason why corps rely on headhunters: they usually don't give those folks benefits, which of course, are costs that go right into the employer's pocket.

Most employers are in ad hoc to big banks and to their shareholders on Wall Street. 

Modern corps do not train people anymore instead relying on the vagaries of headhunters and other phrenologists to try to ferret out just the right talent (which, paradoxically, induces people to switch jobs more often so every company is constantly rebuilding expertise that walks out the door!).

Well, the environments of these corporations due to the above points does not help this (read Charles Hugh Smith's great essay on how this is effecting workers' mental health, and income streams, in Japan). 

Eliminating bonuses and wage increases that keep up with REAL inflation.  The death of collective bargaining (unless you are a hockey player).  And of course, this high unemployment rate which has not only kept the steady stat of 5 people looking for every job, but also lowered the "quit" rate (which generally measures that better jobs are being created in the economy as people leave jobs that suck).  And, the majority of us are in debt; so we really can't negotiate freely until our private debts are paid because unlike bankers, we actually oblidge to pay our debts (or at least try to).

This of course, was all a part of the Neo-Liberal plan by The Maestro, Alan Greenspan.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Just another example of lying with statistics.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

There go the Boomers again trying to keep it all for themselves and trying to take it all with them. It's not going to work.

RSBriggs's picture

You drank the "Class Warfare" kool-aide, just like you were supposed to.  Sheep.

Vendetta's picture

Indeed.  Globalization and financialization of the US economy is always ignored which is the root cause of the massive imbalances.

spooz's picture

Trying to keep themselves off catfood as the sword of austerity hangs over their heads is more like it.

The Joker's picture

I picked the wrong time to be 25-54.

Shizzmoney's picture

Fucking brilliant here.

I always blame my parents for eloping 5 years too late for me:

I was:

- 5 years late when college was affordable (it balooned at an avg tuition hike rate, here in MA, by 10-12% per year.....pricing me out of an education).

- 5 years late to the tech-dot-com boom-bust (I graduated HS....just when it was bursting)

- 3-5 years late during the online poker boom (I made some money at the tail end of it, but then players got better and the govt shut it down before I can accrue wealth in easier games)


Vendetta's picture

Understood.  I completely missed the housing bullshit bubble because Clinton and the republican congress voted to outsource my former profession and I had to find another career and thus had to move instead of the lucky job demographic that didn't see their employer(s) leave the country.

edifice's picture

Yeah, Millennials (b. 1982-2002) are screwed, all around. Xers (b. 1961-1981) are, too, but not as bad. I'm at the tail end of X, and was 20 years old, trading tech stocks in 1999/2000. Lost my ass in that ($40k was my ass, at that time). It took me a while to recover, so I missed the housing bubble. I'll be looking forward to buying a house in the 2020s, when prices have bottomed.

None of us, even Boomers, will miss the final Debt Bubble. however. It's taking us all down.

jplotinus's picture

The first economic system that guarantees jobs for all will win the 21st century.

This very likely excludes capitalism for sure.

Do posters agree?


SanOvaBeach's picture

Those w/ jobs, keep slaving away.  The long arm of the Federal gov. grabs that SS $ and gives it to me.  I don't need it but take it anyway.  Don't blame me!  I did'nt do it!

edifice's picture

So said Ida May Fuller, the first recipient of SS benefits. She contributed $24.75 into the system and received $24,288 in benefits. Quite a deal. The Boomers will be the last true SS recipients. Xers and Millennials are out of luck.

Like Greenspan said, in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, in 2005, "We can guarantee cash benefits as far out and whatever size you like, but we cannot guarantee their purchasing power."

Vendetta's picture

and SS benefits came into being because of the banker induced credit bubble of the 20's blew up and destroyed life savings of millions after 1929.  The irony is surreal

Shizzmoney's picture

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal ~ Albert Camus

This is reason so many professionals loathe their job. They don't dislike the work but the character they must assume to work.

edifice's picture

Precisely. Working in Corporate America is akin to being thrown into a leechpit. To get along in this environment, one must assume a completely disconnected persona, going against everything it means to be human.

ian807's picture

At 55, I'd love to retire, but can't. Here's why.

After 1989 when the Soviet Union collapsed, when capitalists figured out that they didn't have to give a crap about workers forming unions or going communist, retirement dissappeared from new jobs, outsourcing started gaining steam, and wages started edging down. Putting away enough for retirement requires that you have something to put away. That suddenly became a lot more difficult, particularly if you have the bad taste to get cancer or some other expensive illness. So what many of us have are a few small investments, a pittance in our 401K and social security that we've paid into. The choice is continuing to work, and be able to pay the bills and have luxuries like a car to get to work, and an extra sweater, or abject poverty. Planning is nice, when empires don't fall, social contracts matter, the medical system doesn't become a wealth extraction device (i.e. "Pay up or die!") and company retirement contracts are honored.

The ambient wealth of the USA was created in large part by baby boomers and their parents. Dams, buildings, roads, financial and physical infrastructure. It didn't just happen and none of it was free. So, you want me to retire? Well, pay up, or shut up. Up social security so I *can* retire without resorting to cat food and beans, and I'll cheerfully get out of your way.

Vendetta's picture

I've seen some 6 people retire in the past 2 months but very few can because of what the schmucks in DC have done the past 20-30 years.  Smoot-Hawley of the 30's has been ravaged by propaganda, what exactly would we lose with balance restoring tariffs? we need nothing from China but fireworks and magnets...they buy debt to keep the ponzi going

DR's picture

Wow...this is an astonishing statistic considering that the under 55-16 crowd is more than 3 times larger than the 55-69 plus group.


I got to conclude that what few jobs are being created are going to the more experienced boomers but at lower wage commensurable to more entry level work.

Man...this is dismal news....

My only solution is to use the current US surplus of NGas to create fertilizers to grow a bumper crop of Soylent Green.</lol>

cluelessminion's picture

I haven't read all of the comments on this thread so if I repeat something that has been pointed out earlier, I'm sorry.


I have many friends/ former co workers that have retired in the last few years or so.  We have a defined pension plan where I work that will pay out at a certain number of years of service no matter how old you are.  Most of these retires are in their early to late 50's and have retired because it's free money so to speak.  


Almost *all* of them are working now.  And they are working in jobs that pay around 10 bucks an hour with absolutely no benefits.  You see, they don't need things like medical and dental care because their pension already pays for these things.  This makes them attractive workers: they aren't going to hound you for raises because they already have an income and there is no pressure to provide expensive healthcare coverage.  I believe this is the reason that the 55+ group is gaining jobs at the expense of the younger groups.  They are more than willing to accept less because for most part these jobs represent supplemental income.  I'm sure they'd be happy with higher wages and additional benefits but at the end of the day, their wages are merely extra money "to make ends meet" or in many cases pocket money.  I'm not saying that they don't need it -- inflation has ravaged pensioners -- but their "career" expectations are quite different from say, a 25 year old who hopes to earn enough to support himself.

gnomon's picture

Our reserve currency curse got us into this mess by enabling us to avoid severe economic corrections while furthering the outsourcing of jobs via Globalism, (with China and international corporations as the main beneficiaries). 

One should go to first causes for the reasons for our precipitous moral decline, our destructive suspension of reality, and ultimately for our stone dead economy.

We had it all, and then the entrenched financial interests decided to make it a game in which they could not possibly lose.  And at first the poison tasted sweet even to the general public for the most part, what with the torrent of credit being extended with few limits.  

The pushers still hold sway, but the junkies are now in severe withdrawal and getting restive.  It won't be long until the pistol comes out of the waistband to stop the whining and thrashing about.

MyKillK's picture

The way I interpret this is the prime workers who expect full-time work are getting laid off and being replaced by the old and young who are satisfied with part-time work.