Why fewer working-age Americans are working

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Lost in all the noise about these numbers that were published last week was that just as the employment participation by the younger generation is at a low, the employment participation of those above 55 is at an all time high. That "senior" group actually enjoys the lowest unemployment rate of all age groups.

    People are working long into their lives. Why? Because the US no longer has a sustainable retirement plan. It used to be that if you worked for IBM, GE, a large bank, that if you put in your 30 to 40 years, you had a pension waiting for you. Those days are gone. My own father just retired at the age of 77... and he isn't that unusual. Sad part is, he had plenty of cash in the bank... but was still afraid he would run out.

    There are always multiple stories in these numbers. Again, the blame Obama crowd had better hold their tongues, because this isn't a problem that is going to go away by lowering taxes, or privatizing social security. It will only get worse - much worse.

  • Some1outthere Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 12:14 a.m.

    TO Hutterite - then why are you wasting your time and money hiring "Kids" without any real responsibilities rather than someone over 35 who has a family to support and will work harder? someone in the over 35 age group is more likely to stay around for years if YOU treat them right while a young, fresh out of college person who will be gone within the first three months to what he thinks are greener pastures.

    Personally I can't believe how often employers are running ads looking for someone to fill a position that they just filled six weeks ago.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    Why look for part time work when benefits pay more?

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Sept. 9, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    Only the 1% truly believe we are living in a meritocracy -- the rest of us know better by now.

    The premise that "you work hard and you get ahead (become wealthy)" is so ridiculous in the face of current facts, anyone could debunk such propaganda. For instance, 10s of millions of US workers all of sudden became lazy and immediately lost their job skills after the financial collapse so that they had to be thrown out of work and onto welfare (not become wealthy because they were not working hard enough). The opposite is of course that the "job creators" have done such a great job of creating jobs, that they deserve to take 93% of all the profits (they work 400 times harder than and are at least 500 times smarter than everyone else, so they deserve to take it all -- winner take all, you know).

    Maybe, just maybe, it is really the "job creators" who have the biggest "skills gap" of all and are the laziest of all, and their propaganda is just a way to conceal such -- that the truly idle, the true "takers," are really themselves "taking" it all while contributing very little.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    The buy gold based on doom and gloom theory is still alive until Gold hits 1000.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    I own a small company and I decided long ago that it's too much of a hassle to hire regular employees. The taxes, regulations, and paperwork are simply too burdensome. If my company ever gets more work than I can handle alone, I will contract it out or simply decline the work. You'd think the government would remove obstacles to job creation and not erect them.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    A couple of other reasons:

    1. It's far easier to become and remain dependent on government or private charities, and for much longer periods, than it was in past decades.

    2. More parents are allowing and even encouraging their adult (in chronological age) children (in responsiblity and social development) to establish a semi-permanent household in Mommy and Daddy's spare room.

    Jobs may be tough to find, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. People DO qualify for and obtain jobs, but there must be some strange reason why so many of those people are from outside the United States. There seems to be too little incentive today for American young adults to grow up and get going.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    Lets see if I can sum it up in three words. Barrack Hussein Obama. Simple huh?

  • onceuponatime Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    The workers are there they just won't do the job at wages below market value like the illegals who don't pay taxes or don't have to get insurance will. I worked on a farm growing up and was told I could never make more than minimum wage because my boss could get a Mexican to work for less. Me and all of my brothers have done the "jobs that Americans won't do" to get through school. The reason why we didn't continue those jobs is because they don't pay enough. Pay more and get good workers. If you business can't survive by obeying the laws then you don't have a good business model and need to adapt or you need to get the politicians grubby hands out of our pocket books. I own a business and have been hurt by doing the right thing, but it's better than being dishonest and making a lot of money. And hiring illegals and paying people under the table is dishonest. It cheats American workers and lowers every ones wages.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    Sept. 7, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    This is what you get when you elect a community organizer instead of a President.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    not BLM, should have said BLS - sorry

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Sept. 6, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    @ utes fans

    There is a huge need for foreign workers because we have services and jobs that we can't fill with American workers. It's not because the companies don't want to. It's because they can't. These American companies that produce services and products you use, can't find the workers they need. Read up on it and you'll see what I mean. Such jobs include engineers (Lockheed Martin, a single company needs to hire as many engineers in the next five years at the US produces, not to mention the thousands of other companies); Farm workers (tons of need and Americans don't apply for the jobs anymore because mostly those who live rurally can get better jobs and those who live in the city don't try for these jobs) and the lists go and on. We can and should look for ways to get our locals to want to work in engineering and Farming and nursing and etc... but in the mean time we have a huge need to fill and only one good way to do it quickly.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    The BLM does not consider the retired as part of the labor pool, so the comment about baby-boomers reaching retirement age and thereby affecting the participation rate is off-base.

    so why was the participation rate so high in 2000 if reagan destroyed everything in 78?

    BTW, carter was pres in 78, not reagan. and in case you were not aware 2000 is AFTER 78, and we had a much higher participation rate in 2000, so your attempts to blame reagan for the poor participation rate do not look so bright, now, do they?

    where are all those "shovel ready jobs" the porkukuls was supposed to fund?

    oh, that's right - they weren't really that "shovel-ready yuk yuk" to quote BO.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    And liberals want to allow illegal immigrants to take the few jobs available?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Because we haven't given enough breaks to the "Job Creators."

    What changed after 78? Reaganomics started rewarding greed over hard work.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    And yet Senator Orrin Hatch says the USA needs massive increases in worker visas, such as the H-1B visa. He is so out of touch with reality it is ridiculous.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Lowest since 1978?

    Well barack?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    When it comes to a lot of young people, they don't work because they're entitled and lazy. As an employer I see it all the time. Work is inconvenient, demanding and requires sacrifice. You can't smoke all the time and you can't text all the time. For many of them, coming out of school with gold stars aplenty on their work, they're failing for the first time, and they don't have any resiliency so they give up.