Examines the experiences of job seekers aged 55 and older compared to the experiences of younger, or "prime age," job seekers who lost jobs during the recession.

"In this issue brief, the authors, with the support of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, examined the Heldrich Center’s May 2010 national survey responses of those job seekers aged 55 and older and compared them with younger, or “prime age,” job seekers with the goal of addressing the following questions: How do the job search strategies and employment outcomes of older and younger job seekers differ? Have these strategies been effective? What effect has the recession had on older job seekers’ financial and emotional well-being and outlook compared to younger job seekers? What are the implications of the experiences of older and younger job seekers for researchers, policymakers, employers, and the public workforce system? The goal of this brief is to provide information to policy makers, researchers, and employers about the experiences of older job seekers compared to the experiences of younger, or prime age job seekers" (p.3-4). (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: The “New Unemployables” - Older Job Seekers Struggle to Find Work During the Great Recession: Comparing the Job Search, Financial, and Emotional Experiences of Older and Younger Unemployed Americans


Major Findings & Recommendations

- "Unemployed older workers are less likely to find new employment than unemployed younger workers" (p.5-6). - "Older workers are involuntarily working part time because they cannot find full-time employment. Others are becoming discouraged and dropping out of the labor force, believing they will not find new jobs" (p.5-6). - "Older job seekers appear to be using a different mix of job search tools than younger job seekers, which may contribute to their different employment outcomes" (p.5-6). - "Very few of the older respondents in the survey (12%) had taken education or training courses, compared to 20% of younger workers. Given that older workers may be more likely to have been laid off from industries suffering permanent structural declines, and may not have skills that readily translate to currently available jobs, they are more likely to need longer-term training and education programs than younger workers, particularly in the increasingly knowledge-based economy" (p.5-6). - "Financial duress following job loss has resulted in devastating blows to retirement and other savings accounts. Contributing factors include limited availability of Unemployment Insurance and a lack of health care benefits especially for those not yet eligible for Medicare. Older job seekers have struggled to find ways to make ends meet while they seek new employment, with over half reporting they have gone without medical care for themselves or a family member" (p.5-6). - "Older workers point to age discrimination as a major contributing factor in their inability to find a job" (p.5-6). (Abstractor: Author)