|By Michael De Groote|
After the recession,
During her years as a certified financial planner in
But now, that wasn't happening. The reason was simple.
Boomers had stopped retiring.
It's a phenomenon across the workforce. According to new research, baby boomers, or workers ages 55-64, are not stepping out of the way or retiring like they used to, leaving millennials, ages 25 to 34, with fewer job opportunities.
The number of jobs held by baby boomers increased from 2007 to 2013 by 9 percent – that's 1.9 million more boomers holding jobs than there were before the recession, according to a recent report by
Millennials, however, have seen a miniscule increase of 110,000 jobs in that same time period, a growth of .3 percent.
That could be tied to behavior – some say work experience, work ethic or simply being willing to take lower-paying jobs may be one reason boomers buffetted by the recession hold more jobs in this economy than millennials. And it may also come down to demographics.
Knowing these trends, however, might help millennials change their job hunting and education tactics, experts say.
The recession hit millennials harder than boomers. Jobs for boomers held steady.
But that doesn't mean the boomers had it easy. "The financial crisis saw retirement go out the door," Wright says. "Boomers had to keep working to make up for savings losses. Also, some boomers enjoy working longer. So the average retirement age keeps going up and up."
Wright says the weaker job prospects – particularly entry-level jobs – made millennials decide to put off jumping into the workforce. Boomers, on the other hand, leveraged their experience to keep and get jobs.
And that could be one reason workers over the age of 55 have the highest concentration in the workforce in history.
"No judgment implied, but boomers and millennials have different generational values," DeWall says. "The boomers' core value being 'live to work' and the millennials wanting complete balance and almost a blend of work and fun in the office. If you compare the values, it may be easier to see why boomers are more willing to take a job and compromise some of the non-negotiables that millennials have such as fun and free time."
While work ethic, or what's expected from an employer, may partly explain why boomers hold more jobs than millennials, there may also be something more simple afoot.
The type of job, however, does affect the ratio of boomer to millennial job growth. Except for food preparation and serving jobs, boomers have increased their share of jobs in all major job categories – including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. Millennials had especially hard times finding entry- level jobs in architecture (19 percent drop) and engineering occupations (10 percent drop).
Wright says health care, which has been a driver of job growth, has been a good field for both groups. An anaylsis by
Different areas of the country also affected how well boomers and millennials did. Some areas have more of one age group than another. In metro areas with more than 1 million people,
On the other hand,
Finding a way
Holmes, like other millennials, found her own way to deal with the competition with boomers for jobs in her field of financial planning. She took that entrepreneurial tendency she says millennials have and started her own financial planning business, Belmore Financial in
Wright says knowing which areas where jobs are growing and seeing hiring trends can help millennials compete. "When people are armed with information, they make better career decisions."
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