Out of all of the demographic groups suffering from the current economic conditions, numbers conclude that older workers may have the toughest time adapting. Seniors have been hit the hardest by the recession, due largely to their skills being outdated and their age working against them, resulting in long term unemployment.
According to AARP, people over 55 who had lost their jobs saw their average duration of unemployment fall to 42.8 weeks in December, from 44.9 in November. Employers are often hesitant to hire applicants who have been out of work for more than a year because of stigma about unemployment. About 55.5% of all job seekers over 55 have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, says AARP. That’s compared with 42.4% of job seekers 55 and under.
Joblessness for older Americans could put a strain on already stressed social systems. The long-term unemployed run out of jobless benefits after 99 weeks. After that, many workers dip into retirement funds. Others apply for disability. Some apply to receive Social Security benefits early. Many seniors are left wondering, “What am I going to do the rest of my life?”
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