Mar 16, 2017

Why you should care about America's rapidly aging workforce

The percent share of employed Americans over 65 is now more than double that of just 15 years ago, Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives points out in a recent blog post.

Here's why you should care:

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The good: It turns out that working longer is actually good for you, as studies show that those who work longer tend to live longer, too. "Financial consideration aside, the "golden years of retirement" are less personally satisfying than productive employment," Mislinski writes. She points out that this trend started in one of the best economies in recent memory, the late 1990s, when retirement funds were plump.

The bad: There should be no mistaking, however, that some of this shift is the result of growing retirement insecurity, too. Two-thirds of working households aged 55 to 64 retirement savings equal to less than their yearly income, according to the the National Institute for Retirement Security.

The ugly: These data also highlight the bifurcation of the American economy. While it's great that some older Americans are taking advantage of work that is fulfilling and well paying, it's happening at the same time that a shrinking share of prime-age workers are doing the same thing. It's yet another example of how the modern economy is generous to some (usually the affluent and well-educated), while leaving others behind.

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Go deeper

Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's jobs report missed expectations, but still delivered solid numbers, showing the U.S. economy added well over 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low.

The big picture: BLS reported that the number of people who were employed part time but would rather be full-time employees declined by 507,000 over the year.

2019 stock market gains still leave Trump behind his predecessors

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The S&P 500 has jumped 42% under President Trump — according to market data from the inauguration through 2019's final day of trading.

Why it matters: Trump uses the stock market's surge as a barometer of his presidency's success — one that, along with the 50-year low unemployment rate, he's sure to continue to tout as the 2020 election approaches — but the gains under him lag those under former Presidents Barack Obama, when stocks rebounded from the lows of the financial crisis, and George H.W. Bush.

Women outpace men on U.S. payrolls

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Men count was derived by subtracting women count from total; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

There are more women on American payrolls than men as of the latest U.S. jobs report.

Why it matters: The data reflects a hiring boom in industries that are female-dominated, while sectors that are more likely to employ men are lagging in job gains. The last time women overtook men in payrolls was “during a stretch between June 2009 and April 2010,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the milestone.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020