Sunday, February 3, 2013

Older People in US facing Rejection in the Job Market

The US Department of Labor has found that large numbers of baby boomers are getting turned down for available jobs. Many of them are not yet eligble for Social Security or Medicare.  Some say that they are the "major victims" of the staggering US economy.  Sentler Research has found that boomers "have lost the most earnings power of any age group" in the current US economic downturn.  Their incomes are 10% below what they made in 2010. 

Not only do these boomers have no job, but they have suffered health problems, little income security and dashed mental health due to the financial turndown and their personal insecurity.  Many have already exhausted their Unemployment Benefits; they averaged over 50 weeks of joblessness in 2012.

Interestingly, young people who are competing with boomers for jobs are often willing to accept less pay; their youthfulness implies that they will stay on the job far longer than a Boomer.

The New York Times reports that "in a survey of older workers who were laid off during the recession, just one in six had found another job, and half of that group had accepted pay cuts.  Fourteen percent of the re-employed said the pay in their new job was less than half what they earned in their previous job." 

How do you feel about this situation?  Are you worried about your income?  What can be done to change the income and social support system in the US to make distribution of wealth more fair?

If you live outside the US, tell us how your nation is addressing the needs of jobless older people.

Please share your ideas. 

Susanne Paul
Global Action on Aging

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