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Recession forces boomers to delay retirement

Some thoughts from traveling around the world of work. By Diane Stafford, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Boomers stick around

A couple of years ago, the big human resource worry was that the baby boom population bulge would soon retire, leaving employers bereft of experienced talent.

Well, the nearly 2-year-old recession seems to have shoved that worry to the back burner for now.

More than two-thirds of human resource professionals surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management reported that the number of employees planning to delay retirement has increased.

Fears about affording retirement abound.

A step in the right direction

Be encouraged by a blip upward in temporary help hiring.

With the exception of the short Labor Day week, the American Staffing Association's Staffing Index has moved higher for the past nine weeks.

Historically, an increase like that has been a "coincident," or simultaneous, indicator that the overall economy is emerging from recession.

The staffing index has been pretty flat since the first of the year.

But that's a good sign . . . better flat than the downhill slope we've had.

Battered, not knocked out

So says "Weathering the Storm: The State of Corporate Citizenship in the United States 2009."

The report by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Hitachi Foundation says more than one-third of U.S. companies reduced their philanthropic and civic giving this year.

But most decisionmakers realized that such cutbacks come at a cost — their reputations as corporate citizens and as best places to work.

Losing older workers

Corporate downsizing has created the largest number of unemployed 55-and-older job hunters since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping such records in 1948.

According to Experience Works, a nonprofit employment training organization for older Americans, nearly half of 55-and-up job hunters have been searching for a year or more. The Experience Works folks say money concerns are pushing the older workers' expected retirement age, on average, to 72.

Recession forces boomers to delay retirement 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 4:30am]
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