- Personal Finance
Baby Boomers Slammed By Recession
The past few years have been bad for most middle and low incomes. The rich have enough so the impact is much less. New Grads are looking for work or are working underpaid while living with parents, those in the 30's-40's, struggle to keep afloat and retirees receive virtually nothing on savings accounts.
According to the Labor department, the hardest hit were the baby boomers, now hovering between 48 to 65. Those close to retirement yet not old enough to get Medicare or Social Security have been slammed. Most have lost their earning power and is 10% less than what it was three years ago. Many are now using retirement savings to supplement or to live on during the long unemployment because those 50 yrs. and older have a hard time finding a job. There IS discrimination. Many in this group find themselves working three part-time jobs biding time until they reach age 62 for Medicare. Many of them feel that they will be working until age 100, should they live that long.
Once those in this age group are without a job, the average time to find another job is 53 weeks, compared with 19 weeks for teens or twentysomethings. These people have homes and are not mobile, thus it limits their job prospects. The longer the unemployment lasts, the more impossible it becomes to convince an employer to hire them. Many factors-job competition, skills, gaps in work, all make the older person less employable. Many came from well paid careers and now are applying for a job paying 50% less. Nobody likes it-the applicant nor the employer. Visually, employers state that a person with gray hair is a turn off without even talking about what they have to offer.
Many employers will not hire older workers because of their age. It is discrimination, against the law, but just try to prove it. In their mind, they think you are a health risk, not as trainable as a young person, not worth investing in you because you might retire in a few years. Some places want a young face to appear in public, not some old person. When the employer states they did hire you because it was "not a good fit" they mean your too old for their young look. What businesses prefer older employees? Few.
There are many in the age group that have been unemployed for up to five years. This is hard to fathom for many, yet, when you put all the pieces together for this age group, it should be expected.