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Younger And Older Bay State Workers Compete In Tough Economy24:00

This article is more than 9 years old.
Older workers line up to submit resumes at an AARP event career event in New York in January. (AP)
Older workers line up to submit resumes at an AARP event career event in New York in January. (AP)

Bay State baby boomers and their children share many traits. They're independent. Ambitious. Motivated. They're also competing — sometimes with each other — for jobs.

A recent study by Commonwealth Corporation, the states quasi-public workforce development agency, found that a growing number of Massachusetts employees are working past traditional retirement age. Some do so by choice, many others out of necessity. But by doing so, they are reducing opportunities for younger workers who are also facing the most difficult job market in a generation.

Massachusetts lures young people. The state's colleges and universities, along with high-performing businesses in health, technology, and education sectors make it an attractive place for workers under 25. But the state also has an older population that is relatively larger, and growing faster than the nation as a whole.

The state's 2010 unemployment rate was 8.9 percent for workers under 55. It was 7 percent for older workers. In addition, 43 percent of older workers remained in the workforce, a rise from 40.5 percent in 2007.

In 2010, 43 percent of older workers in Massachusetts remained in the workforce

The trend has produced a job squeeze that's strangling two generations. Older workers can't retire. Younger workers can't begin building their futures. What is the impact on Massachusetts? Its economy? The quality of life for young and old alike?

If you're over 65 and still working, we'd like to know why. Did you see your retirement savings vanish in the recession? Do you have to support your children who can't find work? Are you still hale and hardy and can't imagine quitting?

If you're younger and having difficulty breaking into the job market, we also want to know why. Have you tried every possible avenue? Do you see your parents still in the workforce? Or, are you in a job now, but see dim prospects for advancement?


This segment aired on July 28, 2011.

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