News from Over 50’s Inbox

News and updates from Over’s 50’s network of contacts:

On unemployment among older workers:

We have added a new report to the Resources section of our site:  Enhancing the SCSEP Network:  Collaborations, Innovations and Promising Practices.

We learned about this report through an email from Phyllis Cummins, a co-author of the report from Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center.  The report examines employment and training programs aimed at older workers.  It is filled with facts relevant to our Over 50 and Out of Work multimedia documentary project:

– There are about 78 million boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, in the United States today.

– In 2010, 60 percent of the population was between the ages of 20 and 64, but by 2030, this percentage will decline to 55 percent.

– The aging of the population affects the distribution of the American workforce:  In 1998, 12 percent of the workforce was 55+; in 2008, 18 percent of the workforce was over the age of 55 and by 2018, 24 percent of the workforce will be older than 55 years of age.

– By 2019, the entire boomer cohort will have reached age 55.

– Unemployment rates have risen dramatically for 55+ workers since the start of the Great Recession.

“Despite unemployment rates below the national average, when job loss occurs, it takes older workers longer to find a job than their younger counterparts, and they generally experience a greater decline in wages when they become reemployed.”

– “Most unemployed older adults must manage their reemployment process without assistance from a former employer.   Older unemployed workers, especially those with limited resources, may need to rely on either government or nonprofit organizations to assist in their job search.”

– Employment and training programs, such as the Senior Community Service Employment (SCSEP), the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), as well as private-public partnerships exist in a confusing and complex tangle of programs that are configured differently across the states.

– Funding is declining for programs that meet the needs of older unemployed workers, but the demand for such services is growing, given the size of the 55+ population and the negative impact the Great Recession had on its labor force participation.


 On age discrimination:

Our contacts at the AARP alerted us that the Senate is considering legislation to protect victims of age discrimination: Bipartisan Legislation Will Protect Older Workers from Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Iowa Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have today joined with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to introduce legislation that revives vital civil rights protections for older workers that were limited following the Supreme Court’s decision in Gross v. FBL Financial.  Harkin is Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee while Senators Leahy and Grassley are the Chairman and ranking member respectively of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Note:  Over 50 and Out of Work’s June 2011 testimony before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, is posted on The Importance of a Strong Middle Class page of Senator Tom Harkin’s website in the video “Stories from the Kitchen Table:  How Middle Class Families Are Struggling to Make Ends Meet.”


On international unemployment among older workers:

Michael Goldfarb, author, journalist and broadcaster, sent us a story from The Telegraph about  unemployment among older workers in the United Kingdom and advised us that it is time to take our project to Britain: Older workers hit as unemployment rises to 2.67 million