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Senior citizens aged 65 to 69 are more likely to have a job than teenagers, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
In 2000, more than 42 percent of 16-19-year-olds held down a part-or full-time job. Twenty-two years later, that number was down to 31 percent.
Since 2000, work has “become less common this century among every single age bracket under 55, while every single age bracket over 55 is more likely to work,” the report concludes.
There are multiple reasons for the imbalance. More young people are going to school, and more young people in school are not working than in previous years. More of them are also citing ill health as reasons for not working.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, more older people are delaying retirement.
Artem Gulish, a senior policy strategist and researcher with the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce, tells the Federal Reserve that the numbers reflect structural changes in the U.S. economy, where men in particular are less likely to go from high school to a manufacturing job without first getting some post-secondary education.
“Physical skills that once allowed many young people, especially men, to go into the manufacturing sector have declined in demand from employers,” Gulish said. “That has resulted in a significant increase in the return to education, and many jobs now require at least some post-secondary education.”
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