I look around my workplace and the building is overflowing with people under age 35. The few 40-50 year olds that exist are generally in senior positions. There is nobody over age 60!
Where is gen x and the younger baby boomers?
They are quietly getting expelled from the workplace. Anyone with 15+ years experience is expensive. They have collected years of cumulative pay increases and have been promoted into senior roles. Consequently, people aged 40+ are more likely to be packaged out when it comes time to trim budgets.
The standard practice is to restructure out the senior folks, leaving their positions unfilled only to be substituted with multiple cheaper millenials. While I wouldn't mind getting packaged out I know many people my age (mid 40s) who would be screwed. The simple answer is to find another job. The unfortunate reality, however, is that most companies have little interest in anyone aged 40+. They are seen as expensive, inflexible and demanding. As a result, many people who are laid off in their 40s and 50s find work at smaller, less prestigious firms for shittier pay. They may still be called 'vice president' but they ain't gettin' no VP coin.
I can think of dozens of people this has happened to in the past couple years alone.
Interestingly, this phenomenon is also screwing millennials.
Many 40+ year olds - knowing the harsh reality of their shrinking employment prospects - cling to jobs they hate to build employment security. It is risky leaving behind years' worth of accumulated severence entitlement for a new job that may not work out after a couple months. Severence entitlement after a couple months is nothing.
In other words, the senior roles occupied by gen x and baby boomers aren't opening up, leaving millennials with few career growth opportunities.
Personally, I have 4 millennials waiting for me to quit or die so they can apply for my position. This doesn't count the numerous other millennials who would also jump at the opportunity if it ever arose. Unfortunately it won't anytime soon because I have no intention of leaving. And even if I did quit, my role would probably be eliminated entirely to be replaced by 2-3 junior positions.