Report: Unemployed Older Workers Encounter Special Difficulties Finding Jobs

As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news that you are already aware of, this report highlights some of the specifc challenges older workers face when looking for employment. Check it out and leace your comments below.-SP

Unemployed Older Workers Encounter Special Difficulties Finding Jobs
The Urban Institute

January, 2011

As tales of the Great Recession of 2007â??2009 and its aftermath are told, many older workers may well recount their experiences with relief. But others will likely express only regret.
Workers age 50 and older were less likely than their younger coworkers to lose their jobs but took longer to find work when they became unemployed, and many accepted deep pay cuts, the Urban Institute’s Richard Johnson and Janice Park explain in “Can Unemployed Older Workers Find Work?”

Workers age 50 to 61 employed in the second half of 2008 stood a 6.1 percent chance of losing their jobs within 16 months, compared with 9.3 percent for those age 25 to 34 — a 34 percent advantage.

Between mid-2008 and the end of 2009, the likelihood of finding a new job within 12 months was only 18 percent for laid-off workers 62 and older, half the 36 percent rate registered by workers 25 to 34. For workers 50 to 61, the reemployment rate was 24 percent.

These findings are based on the authors’ analysis of a nationally representative Census Bureau survey that has been tracking American households since September 2008.

In a companion report, “Age Differences in Job Loss, Job Search, and Reemployment,” Johnson and Corina Mommaerts show that, in the decade ending in 2007, age often shielded workers from layoff because older workers generally had more seniority than their younger counterparts. However, men age 50 to 61 who had the same service record as men age 25 to 34 were 24 percent more likely to lose their jobs. Older women were just as likely to lose their jobs as younger women with similar job tenure.

Johnson and Mommaerts also find that displaced men age 50 to 61 who found new jobs between 1996 and 2007 typically took a 20 percent hit to their hourly wages. Their counterparts 62 and older suffered a 36 percent falloff, while median wages fell only 4 percent for reemployed men age 35 to 49 and 2 percent for those 25 to 34. Older displaced women had sizeable wage losses, but not as dramatic as those for men. (Interestingly, displaced men and women 18 to 24 earned 2 to 7 percent more at their new jobs than their old ones.)

“Not only can job loss have devastating consequences in the short run, but it also upends retirement savings, especially for older workers,” says Johnson, who directs the Urban Institute’s Program on Retirement Policy. “Their financial security hinges on a solid employment record right up to retirement.”

About half of all displaced workers between 1996 and 2007 moved into a new occupation or new industry when they landed another job. Overall, only 4.4 percent of men and 3.2 percent of women transitioned to self-employment.

Read the full article here at Texas Non-Profits website.

New Old Age: The Graying Work Force


My 73-year-old father is retired, sort of. He works as a greeter in a grocery store in Calgary, Alberta, juggling shifts at work with caring for my young niece, who stays with my parents after school until my sister finishes work. You’ve likely seen someone like him in action — an elderly man or woman who says hello when you walk in, steers you to the right aisle and wishes you good day on your way out.

My dad, who puts in about 20 hours a week, stands on his feet for hours and sometimes works late shifts until midnight. Every now and then, he deals with shoplifters trying to sneak past his post. And yet he says this is the best job he’s ever had.

Until recently, working after retirement sounded like an oxymoron. Aren’t those years supposed to be devoted to volunteering, traveling and visiting grandchildren? But a recent report by the Families and Work Institute and Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work found that a growing number of people continue to work for pay following their official “retirements.” And while they may be motivated by money, many like my father are finding their late-life jobs unexpectedly fulfilling.

Older workers “expect they have to, and they want to, extend their labor force participation,” said Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, director of the center and the study’s co-author. In fact, 75 percent of the participants over age 50 in the center’s study said they expect to have jobs after they “retire.” Already, roughly a quarter of older workers switch occupations after age 50, according to Richard Johnson, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

The federal Department of Labor estimates that between 2006 and 2016, the number of workers over age 55 will rise 36.5 percent. That increase will create the grayest labor force since the government began tracking this data, Mr. Johnson said.

Gray or not, my father strongly believes working keeps you healthy. “Any day I work, I feel good,” he said. He also believes the routine helps him sleep better.

Read more at New York Times NEW OLD AGE blog!

Seniors in the Workforce: Featuring AGE

Anna gatti
Anna Gatti said the benefits of working part time for 20 hours a week include staying mentally and physically active.
Sorry for the short hiatus from blogging! We’re back with new and improved content! Check out this great story from the Austin-American Statesman’s Jobs section, published this last Sunday. Features AGE staffers Anna Gatti and Sara Peralta!

By Mauri Elbel Marketing Publications Writer

Published: 3:05 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010

Ed Myers will turn 80 in November but the Central Austin resident refuses to let age slow him down.

Though Myers began receiving retirement benefits at age 62, he has never stopped working. Instead, he supplements his income with three part-time jobs: he works three days a week in a sales position with local computer service company Gravity Systems and he’s a swim instructor and lifeguard at the YMCA’s Town Lake branch and a professional model for television commercials and print advertisements.

“I have always worked — I enjoy working,” said Myers, who also volunteers for the YMCA’s Friday Senior Retreat Program, a social and fitness program for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. “I like to stay busy, but I also do this to supplement our income with the economy the way it is right now.”

Myers and his wife sold their two outdoor recreation stores in Beaufort, N.C., and Jackson, Tenn., prior to moving to Austin nearly a decade ago. For seven years, he worked as a full-time marketing manager at a local architectural lighting design studio until it ran into financial trouble in 2009.

“Things have gotten more expensive, and the extra money helps us to do the things we wouldn’t be able to afford to do ordinarily, like traveling,” he said. “But I would go crazy if I didn’t work. I never really retired — you stay younger and healthier if you keep on going.”

Read more here.