Nest Eggs Demolished, Older Americans Go Back To Work

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As John Mauldin pointed out in his latest weekly email, there is one segment of the American population that is actually seeing strong employment growth: Those who are 55+.

Specifically, older Americans and now getting out and getting not just one but sometimes two jobs.  And they’re doing this against a backdrop of plummeting employment among the rest of the population.

Why are these folks suddenly working so hard to find work?

Because the value of their twin nest eggs–houses and stocks–has been demolished.

Here’s John Mauldin, quoting former Merrill economist David Rosenberg:

So, what does an ageing population do that has seen its retirement nest egg in the form of housing and stocks go literally nowhere for 12 years? You go back to work! David Rosenberg, now with Gluskin Sheff, offers us this insight:

“What really struck us in the employment report of a few weeks ago was the fact that the only segment of the population that is gaining jobs is the 55+ age category. This group gained 224,000 net new jobs in May while the rest of the population lost 661,000. In fact, over the last year, those folks 55 and up garnered 630,000 jobs whereas the other age categories collectively lost over six million positions. This is epic.” [See chart below.]

“Moreover, the number of 55 year olds and up who have two jobs or more has risen 1.1% in the last year, the only age cohort to have managed to gain any multiple jobs at all. Remarkable. These folks have seen their wealth get destroyed by two bubble-busts less than seven years apart — the Nasdaq nest egg back in 2001 and the 5,000 square foot McMansion in 2007. Both bubbles ended in tears … and so close together.”

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