Older Workers: No Longer Needed?

Over 50 and Out of Work documents the devastating impact of the Great Recession on 100 older Americans, and a May 2011 report issued by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University sets their individual experiences in a broader and more ominous national context.

The report, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, catalogs the shocking impact of the “Great Dislocation of 2007-09” on older workers and the economic consequences for the country. The full report “The Job Dislocation and Re-employment Experiences of America’s Older Workers During the Great Recessionary Period of 2007-2009” can be read by clicking here.

“I feel like we’ve become a throwaway generation,” said one unemployed older worker we met during the course of our interviews, and the center’s report offers support for her apprehension.

Twelve of the report’s key points about the three-year Great Recession:

• 2.685 million older workers (55 and older) were permanently dislocated from their jobs.

• The dislocation rate for older workers was 9.3 percent, the highest rate ever recorded for this age group.

• One out of every seven older worker in the private for-profit sector lost his or her job.

• One out of every nine older men with up to the Associate’s degree level was dislocated.

• Close to one out of every five older workers holding a blue-collar job were permanently laid off.

• In January 2010, nearly 75 percent of all older workers were working or actively looking for work. Almost 50 percent of them were unemployed.

• In January 2010, only 37 percent of older, dislocated workers had found new jobs. This rate is the lowest re-employment rate for older workers ever recorded.

• The unemployment rate for older workers (which is broken down by age groups in the report) is twice as high as those experienced by older workers during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

• In January 2010, 65 percent of older workers were unemployed, underemployed or mal-employed (not able to fully utilize their skills and education in their new jobs).

• In January 2010, all re-employed dislocated older workers earned, on average, $105 or 13 percent less per week than they had been paid previously.

• The overall aggregate loss in earnings among older dislocated workers was $73.5 billion or $27,364 per dislocated worker.

• The estimated annual fiscal loss to the United States (from cash and in-kind transfers paid to dislocated workers plus the lost annual federal and state tax receipts) is $38.07 billion or $20,376 per dislocated worker.



Thomas said:

Skip the rhetoric. Help find Cody a job he can endure. I vote that individuals and corporations that have taken a large part of the GDP should be accountable for student loan debt, social welfare, and social health care. It is a robber barron society to think executives take home millions while the workers actually do the sweat and physical labor. - posted July 3, 2015

Marie said:

I wanted to pass along the following: "The FTC is looking into how these hiring algorithms promote bias and discrimination. Ashkan Soltani, the FTC’s chief technologist, says, 'We have little insight as to how these algorithms operate, what incentives are behind them or what data is used and how it’s structured.'" http://corcodilos.com/blog/8064/how-hr-optimizes-rejection-of-millions-of-job-applicants I urge everyone who has had the pleasure of completing a job application via an ATS full of offensive discriminatory questions such as "Date of college graduation" or "Are you currently employed?" to write to this person and share the details of your experience: Ashkan Soltani, Office of Technology Research and Investigation, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580 -- I recommend included lots of screenshots of the ATS if possible (my own letter is ten pages long and full of incriminating screenshots). If this guy's office gets bombarded with letters, it might or might not affect change, but it certainly can't hurt. -posted on June 28, 2015

Patricia said:

I am responding to Susan who posted today, June 23 2015. No you are not missing anything anymore. What has happened to any one of us we are now deemed as I feel anyway, "the forgotten" we were all put out to pasture if you will for various reasons and the like. I commend you for what you are doing in the heat if you will, but ask yourself a question? If you pass out or get sick from the heat, what happens after that? While I understand the need for a salary and the health benefit if you are without, but the stress levels connected to any one of us surpasses anything I have ever experienced. You are on a computer start writing, answering any posts that are related to what happened to any one of us and eventually there will be someone or something that might start listening to any one of us. I am about to be interviewed next week in connection to what happened to me and until then, I do not know anymore. But I write, to the White House, Department of Labor, i.e Thomas Perez, Janet Yellen, your local and State Senators, newspapers, radio stations, trust me, there are those out there would indeed listen and will post as long as you come across as someone who has been through hell and continues to be there. I wish you luck but remember, someone somewhere will listen!!!!!!! -posted June 27, 2015

Susan said:

I will turn 60 this year. I've spent quite some time reading all these comments after reading the article, hoping to find what I was online searching for - something to give me hope. The combination of ageism and lack of quality, paying jobs is REAL. The unemployment rate is only half the story, if that. Most people I know are working for far less than they were making ten years and even 20 or 30 years ago. I'm doing door to door sales in Oklahoma. It's not an easy job for a youngster let alone someone my age in 95-100 degree heat index. I NEVER would have been caught doing this or dreamed I would be doing this. I've tried starting my own company and a few other sales jobs but even when you do background checks and talk to current employees you really don't find out what the job is like and what you can REALLY make until you've been there a while. I'm sure there are others who now, like me, have a once superb resume ruined by several short term positions. I'm finding myself staying at home, declining invitations and becoming very depressed and angry and hopeless. All I'm reading here is others feeling the same way, with few exceptions. That isn't helping! I've reinvented myself so many times I don't know who I am anymore. I still can't believe how my life has changed and know there are thousands of others feeling the same way. The government is now only helping the 1% get richer instead of creating jobs by taking care of our infrastructure, improving the school systems, health system...all of which would create more than enough jobs for all of us, building bridges, supplying materials for the bridges, selling those supplies, housing people getting the new jobs....With no one in Washington who cares, am I missing something? Are there any answers? -posted June 23, 2015

Anna G said:

worked in multiple industries, most recent oil & gas which started out great but a promotion and attempt at a position I did not have the "right skill set" for, landed me out of work at 55..wish I could say it was the 1st or 10th time..but I can't..I am an eternal optimist..after this past year I am happy to still be able to say that..when I was younger I changed jobs..yes, I was a professional job changer ..I reasoned this was a way to acquire skills, gain experience, be versatie..right? yes and no. many opportunities, I simply lacked the ability to stay in one place...or was it that I never found the place that I could stay? still trying to figure that one out...what I do know is our age group is fast growing and we are sticking around and as medical research and technology continue we will too..so since I'm here..I'm gonna try to finish that degree I procrastinated about for almost 40 years...I'm gonna try to figure out that job that has evaded me that I will enjoy and keep doing..take care of myself better ..treat my health like its a rare priceless object to be treasured and guarded..complain less..laugh more..believe! signed: a work in progress! -posted June 11, 2015

Anna G said:

ok so I googled and located this page thinking maybe something positive to read to share? maryann: contact a food pantry, church, social services agency please..you DO NOT have to starve! Sue: yes, I too will check out your fb page, and leave a comment; gary e.: hope your health has improved, that was harsh that you were penalized for being ill, unfortunately the reality of some of todays work places, brenda: sounds like you have the makings of your own company, check out small business assn., score, minority programs for women..may help, dont let the fact that the young women with flawed characteristics make you abandon yours! deborah: you have the right idea, but not everyone can get on board with the re-invent, care giver is a hard job especially if you get attached to folks but you really have to do the thing that is for you ..simply put..and it sounds like you've found that..kudos! cody: thank you for serving, I agree with ralph our veterans DO deserve better...i encourage you to hang in there, are there any veteran services you're still eligible for? if thats not an option, ask yourself what is it I enjoy doing and would do for free if I could? maybe going in that direction will help reveal a new possible work source, even if you volunteer to help just one person that can make a difference in how you feel and see the world.. - posted June 11, 2015

Michael Gant said:

In Europe and Asia, age is respected, since people are intelligent enough to know they will age , like anyone else. But not here in the superficial USA...young politicians are also destroying the USA, which seems so proud to be free of any traditions, any lawfulness, any responsibility to all age groups. Just bang , bang shoot 'em up mass murderers, fill the news and occupy to many people's minds.. -posted June 6,

Dee said:

I have been struggling for over a year. I lost a job due to a clerical error (once). In reality the company was downsizing and my error (yes I own I made the mistake....once) was a convenient outlet for dismissing me over the much younger and more recent hire. Since being dismissed, I have had a number of promising '1st' round interviews, always telling me I scored well and I should expect to progress to round '2', and then I never do. I expected I was receiving a bad review from my previous employer. I turned to the work source offices in my area (employment security department) and was clearly informed, and I quote "the likelihood of being hired over 50 is improbable at this point and you may get the idea out of your head. Your best bet is self-employment as no one will hire you over 50 due to the cost of health insurance...." All I know is I pass the first stage interview and my resume gets me interviews, but background checks that display my actual age never allow me to progress to the next stage without explanation. I ask you now, how does one re-invent themselves from that? -posted June 4, 2015

Ralph said:

Cody. I feel your pain brother. I am the same age with a lot of the same qualifications. When I read your post it was as if I had written it myself. However, there is one big difference between you and me. You are a former US Marine. That alone makes you one of the finest Americans currently breathing air. No one can ever take that away from you and you are to be honored not put down. Im a bit sick and tired of our service men and women getting the shaft. Folks we all need to remember if it were not for this man and other folks just like him we would all have much greater worries. My heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciate go out to you Cody. Thanks for my freedom and I pray you will receive the rewards that you have EARNED! -posted June 4, 2015

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