Here’s the start of our April Stay Thirsty column:
It has been two years since we started interviewing unemployed older Americans for our multimedia documentary project Over 50 and Out of Work. When we began, the Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 until June 2009, had already been declared over.
Yet in early 2010, millions of Americans of all ages were still unemployed. Jobless older workers confronted the highest rates of unemployment that their age group had ever faced in the United States. They worried about their futures. They knew they had less time to recoup their lost income and rebuild their savings than younger workers, especially when the average value of their homes had declined precipitously over the course of the recession.
Between February 2010 and June 2011, we conducted video interviews with 100 Americans, age 50-plus, for our project. We focused our interviews in the states with the highest unemployment rates at the time, including Michigan, California, Florida and Rhode Island.
How are our interviewees faring in 2012, given the passage of time since the end of the Great Recession and the recent uneven improvement in the economy?
Over the past two months, we reconnected with our 100 original interviewees to answer that question. In short: Not well.
Click here to read more.