September 3 2009, 9:23 AM
Along with the tight credit market, consumer hesitance, and business losses, here's another reason the job market is so hard to crack: Many older Americans lost a lot of their retirement and investment savings in the financial meltdown and now can't afford to retire. That's according to The New York Times, which adds a kicker sure to make any patriot grumble: Masses of Europeans with old-school government or corporate pensions are retiring happily. Too many Americans with private-run pensions are meanwhile holding onto their jobs out of necessity or fear---or both. That's creating a glut for companies and is no help to the 14-million-and-rising Americans looking for work. Within this economic climate, the Denver City Council readies itself to consider an early-retirement program in order to ease its own financial constraints. About 960 city employees are eligible for the deal---a $500-a-month stipend for 30 months---writes The Denver Post, which does not report whether potential retirees find the program equitable. The Post does point out that about a quarter of employees opted for a similar offer in 2004. According to the plan, the city could save between $4.9 million and $10.3 million in the first year and $8.9 million and $18.7 million in the second, but the latter savings would come from different pots of money and wouldn't go entirely toward easing the pressure on the city's general fund and its $120 deficit.