Over 50 and Out of Work’s August Stay Thirsty column:
June’s unemployment rate of 9.2 percent reveals that the economy is, at best, stalled. The unemployment rate of 6.8 percent for workers over 50 looks good in comparison to the national average, but it is the highest rate ever recorded in the United States for this age group, which has reached a vulnerable point in its economic lifespan.
A May 2011 report published by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University includes many shocking facts about unemployment today among older Americans. A few stand out:
- The unemployment rate for older dislocated workers is twice as high as the rate experienced by all workers when the Great Depression reached rock bottom in the 1930s.
- During the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, one out of seven older workers in the private sector lost his or her job.
- Since the declared end of the Great Recession, older workers have been re-employed at the lowest rate in the last 30 years.
Given the U.S. budget deficit, the debt ceiling limit and impending future budget cutbacks, jobless boomers cannot expect additional assistance from government in the form of unemployment insurance, social services programs or job training. Worse yet, older workers may now also find their government jobs at risk.
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