On the positive side, in the case of Americans who are in their golden years of 55 and older, the unemployment rate is well below the national average. However, on the negative side, if they loose their job they will stay unemployed much longer, spending their time looking for a new job than any other age group.
As stated by Linda Barrington, a Cornell University Executive Director of the Institute for Compensation Studies “There’s a much higher prevalence of unemployment among young people, but the time that you spend in that state is much shorter.”
Darrel Keesee, 61 year old, who was employed previously as a package handler with a major delivery company in Mesa Arizona, worries that after the unemployment runs out he may lose his home that he brought his kids home to.
Those who are 55 and over are the only ones to have had their employment ranks increase significantly since we went into recession in 2007. There were 31.6 million employed in the 55 and over group in July, up from 25.9 million in July of 2007, this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jacquelyn James, co-director of research at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging & Work is of the opinion that we are in a transition of age perceptions and society has not caught up with that perception. “…older workers are still seen as people who are planning for retirement, who are on their way out the door, who are disengaging” said James.
In the view of Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, loosing ones job is much more of a “catastrophic” thing at 57, 58. This is because at that age it is much harder to get re-employed plus they do not have much to fall back on.
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