Older and young compete in job market

September 5, 2011 3:06:27 PM PDT
This Labor Day, more than others in recent memory, Americans are worried about jobs, keeping them, or finding them.

The pool of potential candidates is more diverse than ever before.

Who is more likely to find the job? A grandmother with experience, or a new graduate?

Two years after graduating from college, 25 year old Tony Fletcher has yet to put his business administration degree to use.

"I'm doing a lot of odd and end jobs, doing security at a night club at night. So anything I can do right now to keep food on the table," he says.

60 year old Denise Jones is also looking for a job. She was laid off 16 months ago.

"I've sent out so many resumes online, everything's online, i haven't gotten one response," she said.

Unable to afford living on her own, she moved in with her daughter, and being a senior citizen in this job market makes it even tougher.

I'm experienced, how many people but how many companies really will utilize that experience and at least pay you a decent wage," she asks.

Fletcher and Jones may be at opposite ends of their careers but both are scouring job fairs, fighting for work in a market perhaps too small to straddle generations.

So who is more marketable? The grandmother or the new graduate?

Energy and new skills versus wisdom and experience, it really comes down to what each person brings to the table.

Experts say seniors and grads are two groups most likely to give up and drop out of the job market.