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American Workforce - Essay Example

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If the percentage was where it was when George W. Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 13.1 percent” says (Plumer, 2012)…
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If the same percentage of adults were in the workforce today as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11 percent. If the percentage was where it was when George W. Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 13.1 percent” says (Plumer, 2012). Labor force is shrinking due to the fact that bad economy is driving workers out.
Only 45.4 percent of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3 percent in 2000 (Cauchon, 2011). According to (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012), in 2011 just 71 percent of men had jobs, whereas in 1960’s more than 80 percent of men worked; and the share of women holding jobs rose from 36 percent in 1960 to 58 percent in 2011.
Among the major worker groups, in the year 2012, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.8 percent) and Hispanics (11.0 percent) edged up in May, while the rates for adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and blacks (13.6 percent) showed little or no change (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in 2012 down from 7.0 percent a year earlier (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
The baby-boom generation, people born from 1946 to 1964, which has been a major force in the labor market of US for the past 33 years, has now reached its prime working years. So while 64 percent of those ages 55 to 59 worked during the mid-1980s, 73 percent worked in 2011, according to (Schulzke, 2012). In the mid-1980s, 68 percent of the 16-to-24-year-old cohort was in the workforce; by 2011 only 55 percent were (Schulzke, 2012).
Future Trends in Retirement:
According to (Schulzke, 2012), Baby boomers are actually far more likely to keep working than earlier generations, and for many reasons: jobs are less physically draining, medicine has extended vitality, Social Security now pushes older workers to keep going and market reversals have erased nest eggs.
However, should long-term health trends, such as rising levels of obesity and the increase in certain chronic health conditions, continue, fewer individuals than expected may be able to work long past retirement age (Schramm, 2005). Changes in demographics, specifically family structure, living arrangements and marriage rates, may also impact retirement trends. Studies have found that, after retirement, baby boomers are more likely to move to nonmetropolitan areas within their current region rather than moving to a different region altogether (Schramm, 2005).
Trends are beginning to indicate that baby boomers will participate more in phased retirement programs, where they reduce their work schedules, rather than the traditional “cliff” retirement, where they are working one day, retired the next (Schramm, 2005). The Washington Post article (Plumer, 2012) states that, “One thing that makes it hard to predict future retirement trends is that it is unclear how many older Americans will postpone retirement and work longer to rebuild their 401(k)s and retirement savings that were battered by the recession. That would increase the size of the labor force in the coming years.”
Bibliography
Cauchon, D. (2011). More Americans leaving the workforce. McLean: USA TODAY, Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Plumer, B. (2012, May 4). The incredible shrinking labor force. Retrieved 1 2012, July , from The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-incredible-shrinking-labor-force/2012/05/04/gIQANXAy1T_blog.html
Schramm, J. (2005). The Future of Retirement. Alexandria: the Society for Human Resource Management.
Schulzke, E. (2012). Absent without pay: The declining American work force. West Valley City: Deseret News.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012, June 1). Employment Situation Summary. Retrieved July 1, 2012, from Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm Read More
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