Labor force declines: Young workers leave job market, older workers stay put

Labor force declines: Young workers leave job market, older workers stay put

August's labor report suggests that the overall workforce is getting grayer, as young people  stop looking for jobs.

When someone walks into your office applying for a job, what are the odds it’ll be someone under the age of 25? How about over the age of 65?

The odds it might be a someone past traditional retirement age might be higher than you think. Nearly 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 are still in the workforce — the highest level in nearly half a century, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, the number people under the age of 25 who stopped working increased by over 453,000 between July and August, with only 27,000 of those looking for work, according to CNN. That’s the lowest percentage of young people in the labor force since 1955 — and it accounts for the millions of students heading back to school this fall.

(The overall unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, largely as a result of people voluntarily leaving the work force.)

Are the two demographics related? It’s possible. “One of the reasons [for the trend] is young people can’t find jobs because older people are not leaving the workforce,” economist Sung Won Sohn of Cal State Channel Islands explained to the L.A. Times.

With associations trying to help workers in their industries succeed at finding jobs and keeping them, how can they help their industries react to these sorts of trends?

(ht Inc Magazine)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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