Prime Aged Workers Tumble By 280K, Workers 55 And Over Surge To New All Time High

In addition to the troubling trend revealed by the yet again declining labor participation rate as a result of hundreds of thousands of Americans dropping out of the labor force (and lack of entrants), one other recurring concern we have had with the jobs report is that new job growth has disproportionately gone to elderly workers, those 55 and over at the expense of young (16-24) and prime aged (25-54) workers.

This trend reverted itself in April. As the chart below shows, in April the household survey showed that when broken down by age group, a grand total of 270K jobs were lost, but it was the composition that was the issue because once again it was the prime-aged workers that took the brunt of the job cuts, as a whopping 284K workers aged 25-54 lost their jobs in the past month.

 

This means that while total workers aged between 16 and 54 are still some 3.5 million below where they were in December of 2007, during the same period workers aged 55 and over have grown by a whopping 8.1 million to a new all time high of 34.4 million, and as of this moment the oldest worker group comprises a record 22.8% of the total number of workers (per the Establishment survey) of 151 million.