The Great Recession Continues for Unemployed Boomers

My June column for

Since the declared end of the Great Recession almost two years ago, the outlook for unemployed boomers in the United States has continued to evolve and become more complicated, but it has not brightened.

On the positive side of the picture, the unemployment rate for older workers is 6.3 percent, which compares favorably to the national average of 9.0 percent. More ominously, the length of time that older workers are jobless has been climbing since 2008 and now exceeds 12 months, three months longer than the average time for all unemployed workers.

Moreover, although the number of Americans who are 50-plus and jobless remains around three million, this figure does not take into account: workers who have dropped out of the labor market due to discouragement; individuals forced to claim disability payments or Social Security at the earliest possible date because they cannot find jobs to support themselves; and, lastly, the growing numbers of boomers who are seriously underemployed.

For the past 15 months, Over 50 and Out of Work has been using video to chronicle the stories of older unemployed Americans, and we have now reached our goal of documenting 100 Stories. We have traveled to 16 states, focusing on the states suffering from the highest unemployment rates and interviewed people who have worked in all major industry groups in a diverse array of occupations.

We continue to stay in touch with our interviewees and track the progress of their job searches. Here is a brief summary of their outcomes to date:

Please click here to continue reading.


SquawkMom said:

Employers of broken HR Dept.'s have truly missed out on a treasure trove of talent,skills and most importantly, loyalty. An over 50 employee is also much more available and engaged with older children who need them less and less. This problem is directly connected to age discrimination and needs to change! Would be nice to see AARP representing this enormous democratic instead of listening to their happy chirping about 'reinvention' - would be nice if our financial obligations could vanish! In the meantime, laugh and make a social statement or you'll go crazy! #frustration ++.

SBWHP said:

Gigi said:

I scared for the future.

K.A. Brown said:

All I can do is just repeat myself. Please do not take anything personal, do not blame yourself, do not feel ashamed, or any guilt. We as American citizens were deceived and mislead by our leaders. If you get a chance GOOGLE: "unemployed lawyers support group" or "unemployed lawyers blog." These people are angry!!! They are waking up to the harsh reality/truth that they have been lied to. It's not just the 50 and over age group that has been affected by the economy/jobs. It's across the board. Teachers, nurses, lawyers, journalists, people with advanced degrees...etc...etc... Most of us were taught to finish high school, graduate college and you'll find a job. Basically you're set for life. NOT!!!

AmericaSucks said:

Funny, when you criticize the curators of this site, how they remove posts. What's wrong guys, haven't gotten another juicy federal infusion to continue this "work" of yours? Moving on to another project where you can make money off the misery of others? Just what have you contributed to this destruction of America's working class other than putting ching in your own pockets and getting your mug on various shows? That's what I thought. Continue to remove posts you freakin' bloodsuckers, you're no better than the establishment you represent. Oh, are the establishment.

Leslie Kaye said:

I keep reading others' remarks, prompting me to add some other pertinent details: attention potential employers: 1) please respect the geographical socio-economic area to which seek employees; be fair & realistic about those wages for grown ups too. Let's face it: NY/CT/NJ are $$$$, even for the most modest. 2) Ask yourself (managers, CEOs, VPs, senior tellers, cashiers..,.shouldnt u be able to meet basic needs after wrkg a 40+ hr wrk week, + commute, etc..,??! A modest ( clean, safe) apt is minimum $800-1K/ mo, not incl utililities!!! Parking? A toss up! 3) a financial "expert" said the % should be your rent/ mortgage shouldNOT exceed 30% of ur net income! In NY- ha ha! What century was that from? Did it include eating regularly? Dr. X ills, or dare say, an occasional nite w/ friends? If employers want respect & competent employees, then in essence, to quote Spike Lee- " Do the right thing"! Again, thank u for reading/responding. - posted July 4, 2016

Leslie Kaye said:

Yes, reading others' comments, I can completely relate. I, too, feel as though I've been sold a proverbial American " bill of goods", & then trusting, naive soul I was/am, had that rug pulled right out from under me! Go to school, work hard, be nice, honest, blah blah, spent my life playing by the rules, "coloring inside the lines" & all it's gotten me is: laid off, lost savings, shame & humility over my ongoing saga, forced to apply for temp/ public assistance (what a f'n nightmare!!!). Unless someone hands me cyanide tabs today, I'm not done; not useless! Damnit- Simone, please give me s job & chance to rebuild my life, before I am actually (chronologically) too old to do anything - maybe 30= years from now. Thank you again, - posted July 4, 2016

Leslie Kaye said:

Just past 50 female; big deal. Intelligent, have BA & MS degrees, continual on-going training in current tech programs(Word, Excel, Outlook, Quickbooks , other company-specific programs, excellent communications, customer /vendor interactions, even bilingual. Have professional eclectic experience in business, education, retail; public & private diverse venues. Still- nada! Had short term/ temp jobs to keep me in the game, so to speak. Nothing!! I AM an intelligent, wothwhile, responsible professional. After working since being old enough for working papers, I am more than confused & frustrated, frankly tired of being " invisible" ! I want to rebuild my life , & have the chance to pay back my generous family somehow, & pay it forward to help others like me/ my situation. I need a job a.s.a.p! Please, pass this message along . Thank you! -posted July 4, 2016

FED UP said:

Fed up with all of this. Orlando has few if any jobs that pay a living wage. Oh, you may have the few big time earners but for the most part everyone is struggling "just to get by". While I'm fortunate enough to be employed there is absolutely no opportunity for moving upwards in order to have a better paying job - they are given repeatedly to the millenials - every job applied for turned down and I have trained these millenials who don't work as hard as us over 50's do. Given enough time these companies because of their discriminatory practices will (keep fingers crossed) be their own downfall. - posted July 4, 2016

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