The overall job market is obviously weak, but things are particularly tough for younger and older Americans.
For older Americans, retirement looks daunting. As we pointed out last week, most Americans feel a traditional retirement is financially out of reach. Because of this, aging boomers and others are planning on working past traditional retirement age.
But as Reuters Older Americans Learn New Trades in Tough Job Market points out, it's not easy to continue working once you approach retirement age or move past it.
Meanwhile, job prospects for millennials (born 1980 to 2000 and also called Gen Y) are even worse. If you want to be really depressed, read New Geography's The Screwed Generation in Europe and America.
It's mostly about the economic train wreck hitting the European PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain), but also covers problems in the U.S. Key quote on the growing use of two tiered employment systems that disadvantage younger workers even if they are able to get jobs:
Across the developed world, wages are being cut for young Americans, Europeans, and Japanese as politicians prefer to offer less to the young than to take anything away from those already ensconced in employment, particularly if organized into unions. In the U.S., everything from government jobs to employment in factories and even supermarkets is now on a two-tier track, with older workers’ guaranteed pensions and higher salaries not shared by newer hires.
Because of this situation, we've decided to conduct deeper research dives this summer on millennial and aging boomer/senior independent workers (freelancers, temps, contractors, etc.).
Our objective is to better understand the millennials and seniors who work independently, how they are doing and, hopefully, learn more about success best practices.
While we are optimistic about the economy, the new reality is more and more aging boomers, seniors and young adults are going to need to turn to independent work. As a society, we need to figure out how to make independents consistently more successful.