Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Some New Hope for Older Workers

By Lisa Johnson Mandell,

There's more bad news for the more mature baby boomers. Once they've lost their jobs, older Americans are more likely than any other age group to remain out of work for 99 weeks or more. That's as calculated in a new report by the Congressional Research Service.

For unemployed adults ages 55 and over, 11.5 percent had spent almost the last two years looking for work, considerably higher than the figure of 6 percent among unemployed workers under age 35. Older adult unemployment is at a near-record high, double what it was when the recession began in December 2007. Among adults over 65, 6.9 percent were jobless in December 2010.

"It is urgent that we address the employment needs of millions of frustrated and often desperate older adults and boomers," said Sandra Y. Nathan, senior vice president of Economic Security at the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the leading nonprofit service and advocacy organization for older Americans. "Many have seen their savings and housing values badly eroded in the economic downturn and are living in or dangerously near poverty. For them, a job is a lifeline that can help them make ends meet and get them on a pathway to economic security."
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