They’re selfish and self-centered, but want to save the world. They’re unprecedented consumers, but big into energy conservation. It never ends. Just when we think we have a bead on a particular baby boomer trend, another piece of information comes along to obliterate our take. We’ve been told pretty much since the beginning of the financial crisis that boomers were having it worse in the unemployment market than the general population. Not so, according to the Economic Policy Institute. McClatchy Newspapers reports on the Institute’s findings that boomers made up 18 percent of the work force in December 2007; today they account for 19 percent.
“Everyone is seeing huge increases in unemployment — people dropping out of the labor force across the board — but older workers have seen a big increase in labor-force participation since the start of the recession. And I think it has a lot to do with declining retirement security,” the newspaper quotes Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the EPI. “”For older people, the crisis is not jobs, it’s wealth. They thought they had money tied up in their homes, and that’s gone or halved. If they have a 401(k), they’ve also seen a decline there … they are simply not leaving the labor force. In fact, they are still coming in.”