Half of older workers ages 45-70 unemployed in the last five years are still not working,
Unemployment is at a seven-year low, but older workers are being left behind, according to a new survey conducted by AARP.
Half of older workers, ages 45-70, unemployed in the last five years are still not working, the survey finds, with 38 percent reporting they are unemployed and 12 percent that they have dropped out of the labor force.
Of those who did find employment, nearly half (48 percent) said they are earning less on their current job than the one they had before they most recently became jobless. Among these reemployed, half were earning less because they were earning less, while 10 percent were working less hours. Nearly four-in-ten cited both as reasons, AARP reports.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was at 2.7 million in February, according to the latest government jobs report. Of those who have experienced long-term unemployment, four-in-ten are working in part-time jobs, according to the AARP survey. Fifty-three percent are working in an occupation different from the one they had prior to becoming unemployed. Older workers were less likely to be working in a different occupation if they had only been employed for a short time (46 percent vs. 63 percent).
"Almost half (48 percent) of the reemployed report earing less on their current jobs. They were also more likely to report having poorer retirement and health benefits.
“Many Americans want to work as long as possible, but our survey confirms that, once unemployed, it can take a long time for older workers to find a quality job,” Debra Whitman, AARP chief public policy officer, said in a statement.
The survey was sponsored by the AARP Public Policy Institute’s “Future of Work @50 initiative. The report on the survey results was released Monday.
What job search steps have been most effective for the reemployed? Three-in-ten said that networking and asking relatives and friends about jobs was “very effective,” followed by contacting employers directly and using a headhunter (24 percent each. Twenty percent found consulting professional associations very effective.
Among the barriers to finding a job, respondents were most likely to day that there were no jobs available (36 percent), while 30 percent said they had ties to their area. Almost three-in-ten (26 percent) cited ageism amongst employers who think the job applicant is too old, wile 18 percent said they themselves feel too old for available jobs.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.