Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A big, big statistic

In a very insightful article yesterday, in the LA Times, writer Jonathan Peterson opens the window a bit wider on the employment picture for Boomers. Back in the mid-1980's the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 18% of those in their late 6o's still had jobs. Fast forward to today and that number is up to 29%. One in four boomers intends to want to work for a few reasons.

1) The biggest issue...money. Pensions are virtually a thing of the past and 401K savings plus social security provide too lean pickings for many.

2) Usefulness -- we're no longer dying at 40, or at 60 and often not even at 80. What to do over half a lifetime with no work? Work.

But many who want to work will not be able to find work. We're seeing that now through Gen Plus. Recruiters are often willing to put a 50 plusser in front of an employer, but the employer still prefers to hire younger, more technologically skilled (or at least perceived to be more skilled) workers. And this is even when they cannot find staff to fill positions. Of course there are those that will not be able to work due to illness or injury, but I'm talking about 50 plussers who want to stay gainfully employed.

Some of the advantages of keeping this demographic employed? Well, Boomers have typically been one of the biggest consumer demographics in the US -- if they have money, they are willing to spend it. If they earn, they contribute -- into taxes, into the economy, into their own retirement funds.

Am I passing along information that is new? To many of you...no. I've been posting on these issues for several years. But there are a couple of important markers. The first, is that the statistic has increased from 18% to 29% -- an increase of 62% over a 20-year time frame. The second is that this is front page news on the LA Times. The times...they are a'changin'. Slowly, but they are changing.


Walter Akana said...

Hi Wendy, that statistic is a very hopeful sign. Yes, with the changes in the shape of retirement (from financial need to the need to feel productive), I think we will see big changes. Of course, we we’ll need to be creative in helping to drive that change.

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

I find it both hopeful and scary. You have hit the nail right on the head. We will need to be extremely creative to effect change. I get emails from concerned readers who feel that government must get involved. My belief is that we, as a generation, need to mobilize our collective energies to gain employer recognition and stay gainfully employed.