Consumer Comeback Blog

Delayed Retirement Creates Revolving Unemployment for Next Generation

The concept of retirement age has become outdated in post-recession America. Department of Labor data shows that seniors are postponing retirement to offset job and savings losses.

That may be good news to people over 65 still eager to continue their careers, but as seniors stay in the labor force, there are fewer jobs for young people.

The labor force participation rate of people 65 and older continues to be on the upswing. September data showed 21% increase of working seniors in September of 2008. The retirement age increased 23% over the last four years, but the overall labor force only increased less than 0.4%, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Factors driving seniors into the workforce include a lack of sufficient retirement savings, two significant declines in the stock market in the past decade, layoffs, and poor returns on investments.

Delaying retirement has a ripple effect on the labor force. Stunted job creation plus seniors hanging on to jobs means fewer openings and increasing unemployment among younger workers. Seniors staying in positions also thwarts younger workers from advancing into higher level positions.