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Jobs Forecast for Older Workers – Partly Cloudy

By March 5, 2014 No Comments

older job seekerAge bias: unfortunately, it is pervasive in today’s workplace.  And while some fancy resume work can take years off, it’s tougher to disguise one’s age during a face-to-face interview.

Tim Driver, founder and CEO of RetirementJobs.com, predicts that, given both the large number of Baby Boomers still working and the lower birth rates of younger generations, “job supply and demand will eventually favor mature workers.  But that is still some time off.”

According to its report in December, The AARP Public Policy Institute has determined:

  1. Unemployment among workers 55 and older was up at the end of the year to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent in November; that’s an 80,000-person increase among this age group to 1.7 million unemployed.
  2. However, this rate is down significantly from the same time in 2012, when unemployment among the 55 and older set reached 5.9 percent.  In other words, December marked a reduction in unemployment on the order of a quarter of a million workers.
  3. Also good news: the average duration of unemployment fell from 50.7 weeks in November 2013 to 45.8 weeks in December.

The market is tough for older workers.  They’re facing competition and challenges in several forms:

  1. Younger and cheaper labor.
  2. Fewer opportunities given that many seniors are staying on the job into their 70s (the rate of workers between the ages of 70 and 74 is projected to increase by 23 percent by 2022).
  3. A perception of potentially outdated skills and/or steep price tags associated with more experience.

The bottom line is that while it’s harder for older workers to get hired, it’s far from impossible.  The trick is knowing where to look.  RetirementJobs.com offers a Certified Age Friendly Employer program to help job seekers identify organizations known for their commitment to providing meaningful opportunities and competitive pay for workers 50 and older.  Otherwise, older workers abound in the retail space, education and health services.

Read more on the topic here.