Older Workers: No Longer Needed?

Over 50 and Out of Work documents the devastating impact of the Great Recession on 100 older Americans, and a May 2011 report issued by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University sets their individual experiences in a broader and more ominous national context.

The report, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, catalogs the shocking impact of the “Great Dislocation of 2007-09” on older workers and the economic consequences for the country. The full report “The Job Dislocation and Re-employment Experiences of America’s Older Workers During the Great Recessionary Period of 2007-2009” can be read by clicking here.

“I feel like we’ve become a throwaway generation,” said one unemployed older worker we met during the course of our interviews, and the center’s report offers support for her apprehension.

Twelve of the report’s key points about the three-year Great Recession:

• 2.685 million older workers (55 and older) were permanently dislocated from their jobs.

• The dislocation rate for older workers was 9.3 percent, the highest rate ever recorded for this age group.

• One out of every seven older worker in the private for-profit sector lost his or her job.

• One out of every nine older men with up to the Associate’s degree level was dislocated.

• Close to one out of every five older workers holding a blue-collar job were permanently laid off.

• In January 2010, nearly 75 percent of all older workers were working or actively looking for work. Almost 50 percent of them were unemployed.

• In January 2010, only 37 percent of older, dislocated workers had found new jobs. This rate is the lowest re-employment rate for older workers ever recorded.

• The unemployment rate for older workers (which is broken down by age groups in the report) is twice as high as those experienced by older workers during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

• In January 2010, 65 percent of older workers were unemployed, underemployed or mal-employed (not able to fully utilize their skills and education in their new jobs).

• In January 2010, all re-employed dislocated older workers earned, on average, $105 or 13 percent less per week than they had been paid previously.

• The overall aggregate loss in earnings among older dislocated workers was $73.5 billion or $27,364 per dislocated worker.

• The estimated annual fiscal loss to the United States (from cash and in-kind transfers paid to dislocated workers plus the lost annual federal and state tax receipts) is $38.07 billion or $20,376 per dislocated worker.


Sheela said:

Thanks for this site. I don't feel so much like an alien anymore. I'm 52 & working a job that is really beneath my education & skill level, but it's all I could find right now. It pays less than I was making before & is only part time, but it gets me out of the home & 'socializing'. I have decided to create a job for myself with my writing, so maybe it's a good thing. If done properly, I can make more money publishing & marketing my work than I did at my office jobs without having to put up with all the white-collar job drama. Things are changing. I'm seeing a lot of younger folks reject the 9-5 scheme & start a business for themselves or work a commission type job. Perhaps we older folks need to do the same. We have to create work for ourselves, using our talent & experience. Peace!

sangeetha said:

I like the Facebook idea that would be a quick and easy setup we could make as our own launch - posted April7, 2016

William Hill said:

the petition can be started on facebook - posted Nov.29, 2015

William Hill said:

Ann: we need a say and am with you. Let's start a petition to that affect and give the AMAC some ammunition to fight while lobby for us in Washington. - posted Nov. 29, 2015

Patricia said:

I am responding to Sandy and I agree with you 100% we need to unite, but given there are those of us who have been out a long time, unfortunately economically it is difficult at least from my end. There was some sort of a movement in Washington recently with a small group of older folks pushing the discrimination end of age and the like as well as a person's credit should not be a factor in these economic times. What is difficult from this end, is the forming of "we" who I feel are "The Forgotten" is these economic times. I also feel that if like you have posted you need strong proof to be able to prove an age discrimination case that is a given today, but I do read the EEOC's site quite regularly and if you look recently you will see there are more and more cases beginning to spring up due to the "age discrimination" going on all across the country. - posted Oct.10, 2015

Sandy said:

Proving age discrimination is the hardest among all discriminations covered by Title 7. I know, I filed against a former employer who terminated me for no reason (I was set up) 3 months before pension vesting. I took my case to EEOC, went to a mediation with my company, nothing was resolved, and EEOC dumped my case due to "lack of evidence." they literally need proof that someone states you're too old to do the job before taking on your case, since EEOC has such few resources and was gutted during the Bush admin. I settled out of court, and this may have to be an option for you. But i'm finding it hard to get hired in my late 50s. It doesn't matter how much education or experience I have. Very sad situation for those of us over 50 and unemployed. We need to create a "movement" like others do for issues of importance to the country. - posted Oct. 9, 2015

Patricia said:

Teresa, your posting today, and if you are fired over what you posted today October 2, 2015 contact the EEOC in your area as you have a short window once a firing and/or retaliation occurs to talk with them. Statute to file a claim with the EEOC I do believe is 60 days from the date of the occurrence. -posted Oct. 3, 2015

Teresa said:

I have several issues at work. I'm 58 and believe I am suffering retaliation and age discrimination. I will give a thorough account later today. - posted Oct. 2, 2015

john said:

Kim, I come from a little bit different of a place I think then most of the people on this site. I am retired from the building trades after 30 years of work. However that does not mean I'm independently wealthy but I am luckier than many my age (53).Really the system has been rigged against older workers without a doubt. You are wise to organize similar to a union otherwise no one will listen to you and even then it will be a mighty challenge. Might I suggest once you organize you contact one of the democratic candidates for at least an affirmation of your existence and the plight of all older workers. As for myself since retirement I have been told either "no your a union guy " or "no you have to much experience you'll want to much money" And they really wonder why people are leaving the workforce. The disrespect ,uncaring profit driven corporations of today really are the reinvention of the robber barrons of the 20s.Well take care -good luck. -posted Sept. 12, 2015

Leave a Comment »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *