This title of this video “Grandma stealing jobs?” REALLY pissed me off. Why? Let me count the ways.
My first thought was that it would incite teenagers in an age war. AGEISM is already rampant. Hormonal teens don’t need very much stimulus to go ballistic. The graphs show that as female workers over 55 increase in the work force, teenage workers are decreasing. If teenagers don’t stop to analyze why the grandmothers are working, they may start retaliating. “Hey, I’m supposed to be able to get a job!” In this overly emotional time, I can see verbal and possibly physical attacks when frustration levels peak.
No one can “steal” a job. Rather, in the case of older workers, in many cases in this economy a secure retirement has been stolen from them. Also, companies seek to find the most qualified person they can for the job. There is such a thing as dependability, reliability, knowledge, etc. that older workers may have that teenagers don’t exhibit.
Yes, some older women do obtain jobs for self-fulfillment, but they are far outweighed by those who just wish to survive. The recession with its loss of pension funds and retirement accounts are forcing women to do the best they can, even if it means talking themselves into low paying jobs if they are able to do it.
Seniors are being pushed out the door in ever increasing numbers because they are usually at the top of the salary scale after having been with the company the longest. It is many times suggested they take “early retirement”. Often to me, that is code for “You cost too much.” The older teachers in Dallas ISD just this month were offered incentives to leave their jobs for just that reason.
Companies are laying off, going bankrupt, etc. Once grandma is out of a job, “displaced women are 18 percent less likely to find a new job at age 50 to 61 than at age 25 to 34, and 50 percent less likely at age 62 and above.”
Also, “older displaced women who become reemployed also suffer sizeable wage losses“.
There was a couple about my age in my church over two years ago who were in pretty dire straits. He was self employed in a field that was greatly affected by the economy. He did not offer a service that was absolutely necessary. Thus, people turned to other sources and his clientele and income shrank. Even though he did excellent work, he just lost business. At the same time, his wife lost her job. They were eking by for over eighteen months without any benefits before she was finally employed again. I don’t know what job she was able to obtain, but I know they were very thankful she found it. Should she be accused of STEALING a job? I don’t think so. It was a matter of survival. Nothing else.
Just yesterday on NPR I listened to a program on education where they talked of eliminating the older teachers in favor of young new ones. This is happening all over the United States and it is not just in the field of education or in Dallas.
When I first retired in 2004, I did so with the idea of getting a part-time job for several reasons. I was not yet ready to stop working, just to stop teaching. I still felt my services were of value. I obtained a part time job for a year then the job was eliminated. I soon discovered that being 1) over 55, 2) semi-computer literate 3) non-Spanish speaking, oh and 4) a woman were things that were not in my favor. I finally gave up. Finding a full time job would have been hard enough, but a part time job was even more difficult.
Grandmas aren’t STEALING jobs. They are participating in job searches just to survive. Glib analysts like Steve Liesman ought to choose his headlines more carefully.
OK…it’s not the coolest way to start a post by just printing a url, but I have run into another problem. The above video was aired on this morning’s CNBC Squawk Boxand I don’t know how to embed it into my blog. I know how to go to You Tube if it is there, but this is so recent, I can’t find it. I tried to find information on wordpress help but what I found was like reading Greek. I asked a computer literate friend of mine how to do it. She suggested using Control-V but that did not work for me. If anyone knows the secret, please let me know.
In the meantime, this unemployed grandma-aged woman is going to make some hot tea and get off the computer now. No teenager is going to have to worry about me STEALING a job. I’ve just learned to live very frugally and pray that my pension lasts longer than I do. Namaste. Attic Annie