The US Workforce Gets Much Older

Sep 9, 2013 8:04am

Morning Money Memo:

The face of the U.S. jobs market is aging quickly. New research from The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that this summer 36 percent of men 65 to 69 had jobs. More than 25 percent of women of the same age were working. “Both figures were records for any summer since the numbers became available in 1981,” The New York Times reported. But the trend for youth employment is almost the mirror opposite. Only 36 percent of 16 to 24 year olds were working in the summer quarter, down a full 10 percentage points since before the recession. The labor-force participation rate for this age group has dropped 20 points for men and 14 points for women since 1989.

Many Americans are still feeling the impact of the recession that started nearly six years ago. The housing crash and the deep recession had a lasting impact. “Americans are actually feeling less financially secure than they were five years ago,” Troy Frerichs of the wealth management firm Country Financial says. The findings are in its latest survey of how Americans feel about their savings and retirement plans. Despite Wall Street’s comeback since 2009, “surveys like this one are telling us that Americans and Main Street really haven’t felt all that yet,” Frerichs says. People younger than 30 are hopeful about their future and their savings. “The younger generation tends to be the most optimistic,” he said. “They tend not to have the best plan in place but they feel pretty good about their chances of succeeding.”

The world’s finance markets are almost in pause mode: watching and waiting for the outcome of the debate on possible U.S. military action in Syria. The back-and-forth is not only dominating the political world, it’s also the biggest concern for investors. If President Obama fails to persuade Congress on the need for military action, Wall Street could move higher, at least in the short term. Stocks closed Friday with little change for the averages. The averages traded in a relatively narrow range last week. Futures are up this morning. Some investors have moved money into safer assets in recent weeks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is at 2.91 percent. Gold was unchanged at $1387 an ounce. Oil remains expensive at $110 for West Texas crude.

Asian stocks are mostly higher after positive reports on the Chinese and Japanese economies. Data released Sunday by China’s government showed a 7 percent increase for imports and exports in August compared with a year ago. That was stronger than expected. China’s trade surplus rose to its highest level this year, while inflation remained under control,

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc

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