Thursday, April 02, 2009
Persons over 75 may be the fast growing segment of workforce, in a severe recession!
There are mixed messages about the employment of older workers.
The AARP offers an analysis by Sara E. Rix, Ph.D., AARP Public Policy Institute, “Little to Cheer About: Unemployment and the Older Worker: 2008” link here. In December 2008 the overall official unemployment rate was 7.2%, but was 4.9% for those 55 and older.
That sounds like a paradox. Yes, many employers discriminate against older workers, who may have higher salaries and use more health benefits. Older workers are not eligible for some jobs. On the other hand, many are stable and well-educated and may be in demand in niche areas. Further, some are fully retired and are not looking for work.
However, today (April 2), ABC station WJLA in Washington reported that the US Labor Department (presumably the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is reporting that employment is growing in those age 75 and older than in any other group. I could not find this report online yet. However, many seniors are finding employment assisting other seniors, as in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, day facilities, and the like.