The household survey of employment shows some odd trends in who is holding down jobs. The number of employed teenagers is falling, but the number of employed people over 55 is soaring.

For the 12 months through May, the number of people working who were over 55 leaped 4.2 percent, rising by more than 1 million. The number of jobs for teenagers fell by 5.7 percent, or more than 350,000 jobs.

The number of jobs for 20-24 year-olds is barely up over the year (by 0.6 percent) and is down so far in 2007.

These are not new trends. The employment-to-population ratio is now lower than it was when President Bush took office for every age group up to 54. It is higher for every age group over 55.

Doers this mean there is less opportunity for the young, or greater opportunity for the old? Does it mean older workers find their jobs more fulfilling than their predecessors? Or do they feel less able to get by as the percentage of people with pensions declines?