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Policy: Economy

More seniors, fewer youth in workforce since end of recession

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Beltway Confidential,Jobs,Polls,Ashe Schow,Economy

More Americans aged 65 and older and fewer 18- to 29-year-olds are in the workforce today than when the recession ended in 2009, according to a new poll from Gallup.

The change is slight, but the trend is apparent. Eighty-two percent of 18- to 29-year-olds were working in 2010, compared to 80 percent today. Meanwhile, the number of seniors has increased from 22 percent in 2010 to 25 percent today.

The change, according to Gallup, is due to the loss in retirement savings during the recession.

“Older Americans' desire to replenish their retirement savings may partly explain the three-point increase in the percentage of seniors in the workforce, as more postpone retirement or former retirees re-enter it,” Gallup said

Gallup attributes the decreasing youth workforce participation to joblessness and continuing education.

“For young adults, joblessness during the recession may have accelerated the trend of living at home with their parents, softening the effects of not having a paycheck,” Gallup said. “It is also possible that more young adults decided to continue their education in a challenging labor market.”

The situation for teenagers is even worse, with 22.7 percent of teens unemployed as of the end of September, compared to 19.6 percent that were unemployed in April 2010.

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