Benefits

Aging Boomers Not Keeping Jobs From Younger People

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | October 02, 2012
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October 2, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – An exhaustive search found no evidence to support the idea that aging Baby Boomers are crowding out younger workers from the work force.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College analyzed the variation across states in the labor force activity of both old and young for the period 1977 to 2011. If crowding out were occurring, an increase in the employment of older persons would increase youth unemployment, decrease employment and reduce hours worked.However, the analysis showed the opposite effects.   

A one-percentage-point increase in the older worker (ages 55 to 64) employment rate is associated with a decline in youth (ages 20 to 24) unemployment of 0.11%, an increase in youth employment of 0.21% and an increase in hours worked per week of 0.13%.   

The researchers also analyzed the effect of an increase in the older worker employment rate on prime-aged workers (ages 25 to 54), and found the result is the same as for the young: Employment of older workers leads to a decrease in unemployment, an increase in employment and an increase in hours worked by the prime-aged.