Older Unemployed Job Seekers Are Becoming Unemployable

If you are between 45-62, or basically the 2nd wave of the baby boomers born from 1950 - 63, and unemployed, you could be the first group to become unemployable. A new study is sobering and depressing for those not working. Many of you have not worked in three years, have exhausted all savings, retirement funds, used your stocks, and 99 weeks of unemployment. While the rate of unemployed under 30 yrs. hovers around 25% (for those out of work one year) the unemployment for the 45-62 age group (basically, the parents of those in the younger group) is 40%. On a national level without counting the length of time unemployed, the middle age group is 8%, while those under 30, hover at 5%.

Yes, you read this correctly. If you are in the group and employed, you are lucky, played your cards right, probably are some sort of professional immune from economic disasters, already have a pension. Congrats, you get to retire with dignity.

Even finding part-time work just to get by is not easy. Those who not impacted always provide the iconic statement of, " surely, you can get a shit job at McDonalds or Walmart until something better comes". That is a myth. Being 45-62 is a strike against you for a variety of reasons, employers interviewed for this study openly said they would hire a younger person first even if the skill levels favored the old person. Hmm, they call that age discrimination. Hey, who cares? So easy to get it around the law, so hard to prove. Many managers are under 35 yrs.

This middle age group when they lose a job, it takes the average one a year to find another one, unlike younger ages that can do it in half the time on average. In this economy, old skills do not translate into a decent wage, it just helps lower it.

What is the worse thing is the hit it takes on self esteem and hope. Some are 62 yrs. and have gone through their nest egg in 2-3 years of not working and now ask for loans from friends, their kids or their own parents who are in the 80's (assuming they are still alive). Some returned to schools to obtain new skills that according to those interviewed did little except provide hope. Employers didn't seem to care and fear their age is the reason. Middle age workers are often not as mobile as younger groups, you know, pack your stuff, get in the car, go where the jobs are and start over. Employers view the middle agers as less tech savvy and cannot grow with the company.

Economists state that without this group going back to work, the economy will stumble and not fully recover and it must drop to 5-6% overall. Granted, many of those in the group were blue collar jobs but many are also middle and upper management white collar jobs. All can't believe the dire situation they are in.

The future is fairly bleak for them and many under 30 also who might have education but no skills, like new grads from college. Their saving grace is youth. Employers openly discriminate in their favor, of course, this is old news for those 45+.



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Comments 15 comments

Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

It is both a new form of discrimination; and, some are layed-off, etc. just shy of the regular retirement age which causes another set of problems. Good information...voted up and useful.


point2make profile image

point2make 4 years ago

It getting much worse for older workers, who are still employed, as well. I know of a company where, during the last 4 months, 5 managers were let go for various reasons and all of them were 55 and older. Of course they were all replaced with "younger" managers. It seems that many companies are on a youth kick and all the older employees are very nervous and taking notice. It's very hard to know what to say to co-workers to allay their fears. Good, timely hub....voted up!


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Yes, nothing new. In 1972, may dad was manager of a bank branch, he was 60. One day, he was introduced to a 35 yr. old who he had to train. It was his replacement a few weeks later.


FGual profile image

FGual 4 years ago from USA

Closeted age discrimination has always existed, plus now we have political correctness, affirmative action, sexual preference issues, undocumented competition, maybe more. Start your business and bypass all that, or at least become an independent contractor instead of employee.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Yes, but starting a biz in this climate is hard and even in the best times, most will fail.


HR Talk 4U profile image

HR Talk 4U 4 years ago from USA

I agree with your article, there are too many companies who make illegal and unfair age related employment decisions. However, being a few years under the 40+ group you write about I can say that there is "reverse" discrimination taking place, which is perfectly legal yet equally as unfair. I have been passed over for jobs that went to an older job seeker because, some companies view them as more loyal, wiser and less likely to want to be the next company president. A few suggestions to consider - remove all age related information from your resume and social media profiles. This includes the exact year you graduated high school, college, attended training, trade shows etc. Also, only list your most recent 4 jobs but not exceeding the past 7 years. So if you had 6 jobs in the past 7 years, only list the most recent 4. These tips will help prevent recruiters from screening you out based soley on your age. Instead it will have them guessing and force them to contact you for an interview, if they are interested in your skills. Which is a good thing because at least you have an opportunity to sell yourself instead of being screened out automatically. For the under 40 but over 30 crowd... well we are starting to highlight our hair gray! ;) Best of luck!


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Thanks, good advice. Many get around that by wanting to know when you graduated from college or other schools.


Vintage Fem Fatal 4 years ago from Connecticut

Yep, a lot of companies start with online questions so you have to tell them your graduation date, etc. And I'm not gonna start lying to get a job.

Great piece, glad to see someone understands this besides me.

Of course, the next question is, is anyone listening? Or does society just want us to go away and die? We can't pay for housing, food or health insurance. So who do they think is going to pay the consequences for creating this huge group of people who are about to become homeless, hungry and sick?


supermom_in_ny profile image

supermom_in_ny 4 years ago from NY

This is so sad. I know a few people this happened to. It's horrible that society doesn't hold our elders in high regard. Our culture sees everyone as disposable. Great read. Voted up!


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Thanks. Changing careers for anyone, yet alone, those in this age group is also a huge gamble. This is always hard to do and often requires more schooling and retraining and many times, once the skills are achieved, the person is often way older than the boss, assuming their older age is not used against them.


Karen 3 years ago

I was wondering if I am unemployable.I have been on jsa for about 3 years on and off and I have applied for so many jobs yet I am still unemployed. I am over 50. Can you please give me info on what is classes as unemployable, maybe I can then show the job centre.

Thank you


perrya profile image

perrya 3 years ago Author

The longer you are unemployed, experts state that the harder it is for you to get a job. The problem, if you are in this state, is many parts. The main thing stopping one is lack of money to enroll in classes to get skills or other items to keep you going. Volunteering may lead to a job, but, that does not pay bills.


xxx 21 months ago

how can I get help now


help true story 21 months ago

I am depressed and ashamed. I recently resigned as a manager in accounting before I was going to get fired so it "was on bad terms". I also only have 1 good reference because I never kept in touch and didn't realize the importance of this and I'm am terrible with social media can't figure it all out no matter how hard I try it doesn't make sense. I don't have the skillset/experience needed to do any office jobs since I didn't keep up with the times over the past 7 years (fell really behind just squeaked by, I only looked good on paper and got lots of help from others. I now have bad credit as I have worn out my saving account trying to figure out how to get a job and am about to be homeless and my car is about to be repossessed. No professional clothes left for an interview let alone actual day to day working clothes if I could get a job (lost so much weight due to depression and even my few home clothes are worn and tattered) I have no experience in retail or fast food etc and am a45 year old female. I am riddled with anxiety and agoraphobia now and have no health insure to get to a Dr or get medication. how could I possible recover immediately to not loose what little I have left which is almost nothing. any suggestions please????


perrya profile image

perrya 21 months ago Author

go to Catholic Charities, they help many in your position.

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