Baby Boomers Want to Work

The US was built upon the realization of the dreams of immigrants. This is our heritage and our future. I agree that we need to keep the well educated and entrepreneurial immigrants here and that this will protect our economy and may also help with the down-trending of our education statistics.

But there was a statement in the recent report (Coming to America, Why the US is Falling Behind in the Global Race for Talent) by the Partnership for a New American Economy that piqued my interest. The report states:
" The US population is aging, baby boomers are retiring en masse, and the growth in the US labor force has slowed to historic lows of less than 1 percent."

As a recruiter, I see hundreds of baby boomers that want to work and can't get a job.  They have been looking for months and months.  In the PR field where I recruit,  I see that most job descriptions - even for Directors and VPs call for ten to fifteen years experience tops.  Job descriptions show the number of years required remarkably low - Managers:  3 to 5 years and Directors 6 to 8 years.  Meanwhile, talented professionals in the 15 to 25 year (or more) bracket are getting whatever freelance work they can, going into other fields or being forced into early retirement.  I believe that working keeps you healthy and alive so this is not good news.

So I don't believe this rationale of baby boomers retiring 'en masse' is an accurate picture of the professional baby boomer scene.  In fact, Transamerica's Annual Retirement Survey reported: "More than half (56 percent) plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire." Some of this may be because of the many people forced out of their good jobs in 2008-2009 -- without sufficient retirement reserves and some could be because baby boomers are living longer, healthier lives.  Whatever the reason, the baby boomers want jobs and they want to work.

And although I agree that changing the immigration laws will help our future, I'd like to see some changes occur now, for the boomers who want jobs.


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