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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+.