Myths of an Aging Workforce

The financial pressure to retire later is strong. The job market is woeful for younger workers. But that doesn't mean baby-boomers are hogging the jobs.

The list of ills still weighing down the U.S. economy is long. Employers haveretrenched since 2007, and the nation's unemployment rate is at 8.6%, 30 monthsafter the recession officially ended. Wage gains are paltry for anxiousworkplace survivors. Income inequality has widened dramatically in a nationwhere equality of opportunity ranks among the central tenets in history. Themood is fearful and the anger raw on talk radio, the Internet, and in thepolitical arena, from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street to Capitol Hill.

As if that weren't enough, it now appears that intergenerational conflict hasbeen added to the list of grievances. Aging baby-boomers are reluctant to quittheir jobs. They've gotten the message that the safest retirement plan is tokeep earning an income during the years when an earlier generation of workerssaid goodbye to their colleagues. The graying of the workforce limits thenumber of job slots available to young adults and also blocks the promotionpipeline.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Chris Farrell
Contributing Columnist,