Monday, March 2, 2009

The suddenly lost generation?

I noticed a handful at a South End event for professionals who had recently lost their jobs. I saw more in line at a Concord job fair for a new hotel resort. They were the best dressed of the job seekers, in business suits and with briefcases, the way they had gone to work for decades.

Boomers - the generation some are prematurely faulting for the credit crunched recession - might be the generation that will struggle hardest with it.

The unemployment rate for adults age 55 and older was 5.2 percent in January 2009, the highest since July 1992, the New York Times said in an article this weekend on Generation B. About 1.7 million adults 55 and older are unemployed now, according to Department of Labor statistics. That's almost twice as many as in November 2007.

There is no good age to lose a job, but Boomers find themselves in a particularly perilous place. They cannot pivot into new careers as some younger workers can. They face withering retirement accounts and just 10-20 years of employment - maybe less - to replenish them. They worry that future employers will think them overqualified - or assume they don't have the drive of the younger set.

They are easy to spot at the job fairs, dressed for interviews the old-school way - proper business attire, resume at the ready. In the line for the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord were accountants, promoters, marketing execs. One woman, who was reluctant to give her name, had worked in marketing before getting laid off a few months before - "Not a big surprise," she said, given the economy - but the scarcity of jobs since had stunned her.

She knew that the jobs awaiting her in this line were different - with significantly lower pay - than what she had done for the last two decades. But she and so many others have a longer-term worry, too.

They never expected the one job/one company stability their parents' generation enjoyed, but many still believed that if you were good at what you did, you'd be able to do it for as long as you wanted. Now this economy, built on the consumerism and credit spree many will lay at the Boomers' feet, is contracting. The high-paying jobs they performed might be a long way off - if they return at all.

It's the most frightening prospect for all workers - but perhaps this generation more than any other, standing in line, looking out at the others, looking oddly out of place in a world where everything has changed.

Your Morning Edge:

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A listing of financial reports due out this week, courtesy of CNN-Money.


Anonymous said...

That's a real shame.

And it's only going to get worse as our political class seizes control of more and more of the economy, destroying more and more jobs. And then the Boomers' Social Security and Medicare will vanish.

Anonymous said...

Poetic justice for the brats who grew up thinking they were ALL God's gift to the uniniverse, entitled to have it ALL! No SYMPATHY HERE! WELCOME TO THE MISERY THE REST OF US ENDURED AND PAID FOR DURING YOUR ENDLESS PARTY YEARS!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it's the people who remain in those jobs that the boomers have left who are among the "rich" that will pay for the bailout. The numbers of the "rich" are going to start dropping fast and then who are we going to tax to give away money to others?

Anonymous said...

Although I am sorry anyone is experiencing hardship now, Boomers caused this mess with their waste, greed, over consumption, credit spending, and desire to have it all. So, if anyone suffers more than others, it should be them. Unfortunately this recession also impacts those who have tried to live a less wasteful and more conservative lifestyle.

Will boomers (and their descendents who have learned well) learn from this? No, they have no clue they caused it. Once the recession lessens, they will once again gathered around the water cooler to discuss their International Funds.

Anonymous said...

Lost? Au contraire monsieur. Typically the new Obama Democrat represents the working class paradise blue collar proletariet entity and this is why he pretends to rescue the working class blue collar manufacturing jobs in Detroit among others along with got the union votes.

Therefore the new Democrats Labor Party need to roll up their sleeves and prepare for the sweat of the brow wages. The USSR hammer and sickle that signifies working with the hands as a smith or living off the land.

We know Obama tries to act differently when in fact the entire ideology of the Democratic party since the 1890s has been one of liberalism and working class values as opposed to the bourgeise GOP party of management and anti-unionism.

There is catch to it all since even with in the commune ideoology controlled by the blue collar worker class the missing link never mentioned is the 1% elitist party of proletariats who manipulate 99% of the wealth for their own good.

We know Obama and his chosen few "czars" as Sen Bryd recently notated as dangerous to the capitalist system, are now postering for upper stratus positioning and thus are the new elite class under the DNC proletariat system.

Be very careful here. Obama is unquestionably indoctrinated in the socialist proletatiat systemized form of ideology and with a 3.6 trillion socialist annual bill to revolutionize all forms of government, clearly he is exacting control with his czars where the 1% elite will manipulate and control the 99% peasantry equalization.

Make no mistake. America is headed down the path of full socialism under Obama but only after Bush and his neocons screwed up so badly with their fake wars following the rigged 911 inside job.

Next to go will be private property ownership ...

Anonymous said...

Finally the Observer put their finger on it. The Boomers caused this mess and they are going to suffer. I work for a construction company in the Charlotte area and I am under 30. I have seen 5 people twice my age get laid off and I have kept my job doing the same thing. Why is this?? Because boomers have locked themselves into such great debts that they can’t afford to take a pay cut. Why pay someone twice as much when you have someone college educated that can perform the same job for half their cost? No brainer. And what amazes me it’s these same boomers that complain about government spending to get us out of the problem that you have created. YOU HAVE BEEN FIANCING OUR DEBT FOR DECADES AND NOW HONESTLY YOU WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. Give me a break. The Baby Boomers are going to slowly fade in to oblivion just like the GOP. Anyone else see the 13rd year old they put on stage a CPAC. Yea, the republican party is going places. HAHAHAHA. If you want to pick up some young voters, don’t have your party members address your party leader as “ YOU DA MAN.”

Anonymous said...

Under 30? That tells me all I need to know. You cannot teach experience. Your layoff theory makes no sense at all. Rambling thoughs with no substance.

I trust with your theory you will be happy with your current salary in 15 years. Give me experience over some thirty something always looking to leave work early, show up late or think after 6 months they should get a promotion.

Anonymous said...

NOW that we are asking the Wealthy to do there part, and pay taxes...THE WORLD IS FALLING...YOU wealthy folks did not mind when everyone was making you rich. NOW PAY YOUR DAMN TAXES...

Anonymous said...

What we have here is a bunch of Whiney me me complainers, I am talking about the ones who are criticizing the Government for taking some action and bailing some of these companies... DAMN if you do and BIG DAMN if you don't..
If government did nothing and let all these companies and bank go under all of you would be crying the blues and still doing what you all do best WHINE!!! So stop complaining and do something.. It's going to be a long bumpy ride but there is light at the end.

Anonymous said...

Bashing Boomers?

"So, if anyone suffers more than others, it should be them" - let me take a guess here; these are the children of those Boomers. The Boomers who fed, clothed, sheltered, provided them their educations? Oh yes, and all their "name brand" clothing and electronic gadgets they HAD to have to keep up with their friends. If only these children had some of the respect, work ethics, and responsibility their parents must have had to raise them.....

Anonymous said...

Please be careful when you begin to generalize and judge en masse. At age 56, I'm a boomer, and I have never lived extravagantly, the only debt I've ever had has been for a modest home, where I've lived for almost 30 years and modest cars (the car I currently drive is the first new car I've ever owned). There are lots of boomers like me who have lived carefully and saved carefully, and who have bailed out their children (Gen Xers?)from credit card debt. There are people in every generation to blame, if that's what you must do.

Anonymous said...

The boomer bashing is ridiculous, we also have worked hard, saved, didn't incur debt, basically did all the right things and now watch our retirement funds dwindle. Bash us in a few years when we can't retire and stay in the jobs that younger people would have taken.