Aging and Long-Term Unemployment

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

help wanted, sign, jobs, economy, employment (B.J. McCray/flickr)

Peter Coy, economics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek, talks about the CBO report on the effect of Obamacare on jobs, plus age discrimination's part in long-term unemployment. Then Ruth Finkelstein, senior vice president of policy and planning for the New York Academy of Medicine, continues the discussion on aging and long-term unemployment and talks about her work on the Age-Smart Awards Program.



Peter Coy and Ruth Finkelstein

Comments [19]

Rosalyn Aaron

We are pitting generation against generation rather than looking to deal with the issues. Yes, people are being pushed out of their jobs at 50 and above (I was two weeks away from my 60th birthday) and Yes, people in their 20s and 30s are not able to get onto a career path. But we can't resolve the needs of one group at the expense of the other. My mortgage, health care expenses won't stop just because I'm an older (ex)worker. After two years of being an angry unemployed person, I became a reluctant retiree. Maybe instead of issuing gold watches at the end of longterm employment, we should issue a gun with one bullet. The multibillion corporations need to step up. I'm not talking about Walmart or McDonald's; I'm referring to the high-level bankers, investors, the Wall Streeters who created this economy and never paid back a penny to those they destroyed. Now unemployment is rampant, underemployment is rampant and we are at each other's throats for the crumbs left on the floor. The dirty floor

Feb. 05 2014 05:00 PM

Brian finds it lovely that people can make the decision to work less thanks to government subsidized insurance. How fair is that to the person who is cutting back so they can afford the extra taxes they have to pay, to subsidize the non-workers decisions.

Feb. 05 2014 03:27 PM
Julie from Brooklyn

Brian, you just used the word "freeloading" to describe subsidies?!?! I am on Medicaid right now because I lost my job in the financial crisis and have not been able to find another one since then. I have now spent all my money, can't find work and can't afford my own health care. I'm not a freeloader, I'm poor (and through no fault of my own)!!! People who are on Medicaid or who are receiving subsidies through the Affordable Care Act are NOT freeloaders, they're low-income or lower-income people, most of who are trying very, very hard to work and/or find work and simply survive. It's time to stop looking down on lower income people who need help for various reasons (after all, almost everyone in our society of all incomes get some form of tax subsidy somehow...isn't the lower tax rate on capital gains in some way a tax subsidy??). Please do not join the dark side and use words like "freeloading" regarding struggling people!!! Language is important and, additionally, please respect those who have less than you. I love your show and think you do great work, but sometimes you project a misunderstanding or ignorance of issues that involve those below the middle class... It pains me that a lot of very intelligent people across our society have now bought into right-wing rhetoric - the idea that anyone who needs help is a loser, the "undeserving poor".

Feb. 05 2014 11:44 AM
Nancy from NYC

So glad you're talking about workplace design. It's key for older workers to have a right-sized, ergonomic place to work, because it's impossible to be productive and healthy otherwise.

My health was ruined (in part) because I worked for 8 years in my 40s sitting in a desk chair built for a six foot man (I'm a 5'4" woman) for (the demanded) 14+ hours per day.

Feb. 05 2014 11:43 AM
amy from queens

employment opportunities specifically geared towards older 55+ adults

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Feb. 05 2014 11:43 AM


Single-payer healthcare breaks the wage slave bond and creates labor liquidity. The status quo contributes to worker abuse and stagnant wages.

People are truly free to realize their destiny by NOT being held hostage by the healthcare/employment - Korporate Super Structure paradigm. It is no coincidence that the healthcare/employment connection was initiated! This connection provides stable, inexpensive labor. The fear of jeopardizing your families access to healthcare is a form of korporate terrorism.

Break that correlation and people are free to innovate, start businesses, hire new workers... realize dreams!

The ACA doesn't solve this problem for us, unfortunately!!

Feb. 05 2014 11:40 AM
Joyce from NYC

This all sounds wonderful, and I agree with almost all of the suggestions.

HOWEVER. This kind of thing is often presented as reasonable suggestions, and then slowly it becomes very different.

In France, for example, the purpose of work is NOT to produce things the market wants, but to provide jobs, even if the employers has no need to the employee.

Remember Affirmative Action – Hubert Humphrey said, “This will NEVER be quotas.” Guess what happened!!!

Feb. 05 2014 11:39 AM
tom from qns

Hiring older workers, encouraging full time vs. part time due to the ACA, these are important, but to a limited degree. With all sides focusing on these changes aren't we just managing decline? I bet Chinese leaders are too busy setting up the next dozen factory sites to worry about such questions. More important is creating and retaining hundreds/thousands of jobs. Have we devolved to the point where childcare and agism is all we can muster? Obama should say BRING THE JOBS BACK, not ' hire the long term unemployed"! The rest would take care of itself.

Feb. 05 2014 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What is the main product of academic "workers?" Books. And movies. Ideas that can be sold. To be an academic, you have to become a book writer. You have to put your ideas into book form and sell it, and maybe if you're really good, a movie or documentary will be made out of it.

Feb. 05 2014 11:36 AM
Ed from Larchmont

"Bill's retirement plan is fine ... if he were a vampire and retired at 153. Unfortunately he isn't a vampire." From the commercial.

Feb. 05 2014 11:34 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Under Communism, everybody "worked." Or as the saying was, "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." The reality is, or will be, fewer people will "work" and more robots will do most of the real jobs eventually. People will be paid only to think and come up with ideas. Patents will be the main product of every advanced society.

Feb. 05 2014 11:33 AM
Ed from Larchmont

An economy can't be fully planned.

Feb. 05 2014 11:32 AM

... And our politicians want to RAISE the age of retirement.

Feb. 05 2014 11:31 AM
Suzanne from Manhattan

I have an ivy league degree. I am a baby boomer. I cannot get a job as I am interviewed by 20 or 30 aged people. I am living in poverty! I am convinced that once they see me, they don't want to hire an older woman even though I am over qualified for these jobs. I really don't know what to do. I do not want to be on the dole. I am considering going through the AARP and asking for their help....
Please do not use my name

Feb. 05 2014 11:29 AM
Wendy from Central NJ

I'm 60. Almost every IT professional I know older than me has been forced out of the business and forcably retired, sometimes way before they were prepared for retirement. Once a worker is let go in his or her 50s (and it seems like some companies target older workers), they NEVER find another job. I have close friends unemployed for more than 10 years. They send out 1000s of resumes and don't even get a response.

Feb. 05 2014 11:27 AM
RJ from prospect hts

What about the demands being made on the low-income to spend more time with their children? Doesn't not having to work like slaves at low-income jobs give them a chance to do that?

Feb. 05 2014 11:26 AM
Ed from Larchmont

With less time on the job they will have more time to think and create things.

Feb. 05 2014 11:25 AM
Ed from Larchmont

'Life style choice', that's funny. There are many people who will work less, understandably, to keep their income down so they can receive subsidies for healthcare. Did you see Westchester Medical Center won't take insurance from O-care, it's too little.

Feb. 05 2014 11:24 AM

This CBO report is already being mis-applied by the Right to try and convince others that Obamacare should be repealed. How can we have a discussion when one side misrepresents the data right off the blocks? The GOP has closed the government, lowered the nation's credit rating and passed over 40 bills to repeal or curtail Obamacare. The GOP action has been obsessive and is completely out of line when compared to the 2.5M jobs and $1T add to the national debt OVER THE NEXT DECADE that the report explains.

My idea to lower unemployment among our older workers is to grant them Medicare eligibility after a certain amount of unemployment. They immediately become more attractive potential hires because they bring their health insurance with them.

Feb. 05 2014 11:06 AM

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