Boomers Squeezing Millennials Out Of The Market?

The number of people aged 55 and older in the workforce might hit 28 million in 2010, even as the proportion of people aged 16-24 in the labor market will hit the lowest level since 1948, reports USA TODAY.

In fact, only 55% of those young workers are employed, down from 66% in 2000.

The reason older workers stay on the job longer is because many have to, Carl Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center of Workforce Development at Rutgers University, told USA TODAY. “Many can’t afford to drop out of the labor market without severe financial implications.”

And the more experienced an employee is, the more valuable she is to employers (with the corollary, though, that with experience comes expense), making it harder for kids with little to no experience to land jobs.

Here’s USA TODAY’s chart of the situation as it stands now: