I guess it wasn’t enough to get all the benefits… now those 55 years and older are taking all the work as well!

The recent jobs figures came out the first week of November and there was a lot of back-slapping among politicians about how the economy is healing. With a whopping 170,000 new jobs created, things must be on an upswing.

Now, obviously I’m being sarcastic.

A mere 171,000 jobs created is barely enough to put all the new entrants into the labor force to work. But there is something worse than simply modest job growth going on.

Instead of seeing bright shining faces getting entry level jobs, the numbers reveal that positions are actually going to people who are nearing retirement

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), of the 3.3 million jobs created since June of 2009 – the official end of the recession – the “55+ set” has captured 3.8 million jobs.

That’s right. This group has taken more jobs than all of those created, which means the other groups combined had a net loss of jobs since the end of the recession.

That net loss is concentrated in one area. The 25-54 set lost almost 850,000 jobs in the same time period. The youngest group, 16-19, showed modest losses, while the 20-24 set showed modest gains. Essentially, those in their prime working years are falling behind while the grandmas and grandpas take home the paycheck.

Now, rather than simply thinking, “What a bummer” for all of those 25-54 year olds, think about what it means to the structure of our economy…


The greatest amount of household spending is done by those raising children and there is no doubt that most of this occurs in the age range of 25-54. If our economy has rotated to where employers are more likely to hire older people than the workers with families, then how will these parents have the means to spend?

The aging workers aren’t going to spend us into recovery. They’re going to pay down debts and save for retirement.

The economy must have the parents with kids at home blowing their paychecks on guitar lessons, ballet and gymnastics, new shoes, designer jeans, iPads and fast food.

Without this economic adrenaline, we’re sunk. We might as well stay home and learn Japanese through Rosetta Stone, because we will start to look like their economy very quickly.

Given that this is the current path, it bodes poorly for the year ahead. Don’t expect mid-market retailers, those like J.C. Penney or others that focus on family spending to post stellar numbers. Along with that, it is likely that mid-market food retailers will also feel the pinch.

Of course, on the upside, chances are there’s a little more room in the local ballet class if you are looking to get your kid into it.

Go ahead, you can ask Grandma to pay for it… she’s the one with the job.




Ahead of the Curve with Adam O’Dell

Tiffany Co – TIF Vs. J.C. Penney – JCP

Speaking of J.C. Penney, it hasn’t done well at all in recent years (in case that slipped your notice). In fact, many mid-market retailers have trailed behind their up-market peers since the market crashed in 2008.



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Rodney Johnson
Rodney works closely with Harry to study the purchasing power of people as they move through predictable stages of life, how that purchasing power drives our economy and how readers can use this information to invest successfully in the markets. Each month Rodney Johnson works with Harry Dent to uncover the next profitable investment based on demographic and cyclical trends in their flagship newsletter Boom & Bust. Rodney began his career in financial services on Wall Street in the 1980s with Thomson McKinnon and then Prudential Securities. He started working on projects with Harry in the mid-1990s. Along with Boom & Bust, Rodney is also the executive editor of our new service, Fortune Hunter and our Dent Cornerstone Portfolio.