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Monday, September 20, 2010

Over 50 and Unemployed: Will they ever work again?

by Calculated Risk on 9/20/2010 08:33:00 AM

From Mokoto Rich at the NY Times: For the Unemployed Over 50, Fears of Never Working Again (ht Ann)

Of the 14.9 million unemployed, more than 2.2 million are 55 or older. Nearly half of them have been unemployed six months or longer, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate in the group — 7.3 percent — is at a record, more than double what it was at the beginning of the latest recession.

After other recent downturns, older people who lost jobs fretted about how long it would take to return to the work force and worried that they might never recover their former incomes. But today, because it will take years to absorb the giant pool of unemployed at the economy’s recent pace, many of these older people may simply age out of the labor force before their luck changes.
It is hard for people in their 50s to change careers, or rebuild their savings after a long period of unemployment. And, as in the story, they may end up taking Social Security early - just to get by - and that means they will receive a significantly lower monthly payout than if they waited until 66. A very tough situation.