Workforce Demographics: The US is Melting South and West

Boomers leaving the workforce

The 2010 Census resembles the Dali painting of a clock melting.  The US is melting south and west.  What will happen in the next five years as employers see Boomers leaving the workforce?  Even with the ongoing recession, Boomers — ever optimistic — are considering their options.  Many long to leave current jobs for a shot at running the whole show.  They’ve watched the country’s heros morph from corporate CEOs to entrepreneurs.  Here’s what we found while interviewing several dozen fiftysomethings.  This isn’t science, it’s merely thought-provoking.

1.  Fifty isn’t old.  It truly is the new 30.  What determines whether someone will move to an area with a lower cost of living are family obligations.  People don’t love a particular part of the country the way the Depression generation did.  If it costs half as much to live in the deep south versus Chicago, why not?  If you hate it you can move back.  In other words, we’re seeing a more flexible mindset.

2.  Divorce is a more important catalyst to rethinking location than being laid off.  The Boomers (1946-1959) have the highest divorce rate of any age group and have since the 1970s.

3.  Cost trumps weather with everyone we talked to.  Even if you plan to work part-time, cost of living is paramount.

We think more companies will offer  older workers opportunities for episodic work rather than see them — and their peerless work ethic — leave.

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