Mature Workers

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					                           Mature Workers
                                                                       Fac t S h E E t



W
            hile many people think of older adults    n	 In May 2010, 60% of unemployed older
            as retirees, the truth is millions of        workers had been out of work for six months
            Americans aged 55+ work full or              or longer, and 43% had been without a job
part-time jobs every day. The reasons they work          for more than a year. (CNN, 7/2/10)
are varied, but for many it’s a matter of necessity   n	 Although the rate of unemployment among
to remain financially secure and independent.            mature workers is lower than younger
Others work to stay active and engaged in their          populations, older workers who do become
communities.                                             unemployed spend more time searching for
    As the population ages, older Americans              work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3/10)
will play an increasingly important role in our          Older workers also are unemployed for a
economy and America’s leadership in the world            longer time—11 months on average in July
marketplace. By 2019, over 40% of Americans              2010 compared to 8 months for younger
aged 55+ will be employed, making up over                workers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9/3/10)
25% of the U.S. labor force. The Committee on
Economic Development indicates that employers         n	 Mature workers make up 14.2% of the
rate older workers high on characteristics such as       unemployed population in the U.S.
judgment, commitment to quality, attendance,          n	 Unemployment in 2009 was more common
and punctuality.                                         among older men than older women. Over
                                                         14% of construction workers aged 55+ and
Employment                                               10% of older manufacturing workers were
                                                         unemployed—well above the overall 2009
n	 In 2009, 27.1 million Americans aged 55+
                                                         unemployment rate of 6.5% for adults aged
   were employed, and 1.9 million were actively          55+. (Urban Institute, 3/10/10)
   seeking work.
                                                      n	 Nearly two-thirds of unemployed older men
n	 In 2009, older workers represented 19% of
                                                         had careers in construction, manufacturing,
   the U.S. workforce, a significant increase from       or trade and professional services in 2009.
   1999 when they accounted for just 12%.                Among women aged 55+, two-thirds
n	 Weekly earnings vary by age and gender. In            of the unemployed came from trade,
   the 55-64 age group, men have the highest             professional and business services, health
   weekly earnings at $953, while women earn             care, manufacturing, and education. (Urban
   $730. Median weekly earnings for men aged             Institute, 3/10/10)
   65+ are $686 and $534 for women. (Bureau           n	 On average, laid-off male workers aged 50-61
   of Labor Statistics, 7/20/10)                         who become reemployed earn 15% less on the
                                                         new job than the old job, and those aged 62+
Unemployment                                             earn 21% less. By contrast, reemployed laid-
n	 The unemployment rate for job seekers aged            off men aged 35-49 average only 3% less per
   55+ has more than doubled since December              hour. For reemployed laid-off women, hourly
   2007. On average, 1.5 million workers aged            pay cuts average 11% at age 35-49, 16% at age
   55-64 and 421,000 workers aged 65+ were               50-61, and 23% at age 62+. (Urban Institute,
   unemployed each month in 2009. (Urban                 3/10/10)
   Institute, 3/10/10)




  1901 L Street, NW, 4th Floor 		n		 Washington, Dc 20036 		n		 202-479-1200 		n		 www.ncoa.org
                                                                                                         07-2011
       N c O a : M at U R E W O R k E R S Fa c t S h E E t

Part-time and Multiple Jobs                         care workers. NCOA currently operates 27
                                                    SCSEP projects in 11 states. SCSEP is funded by
n	 Part-time work is appealing to many older
                                                    a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
   workers who want to scale back but still
   remain in the workplace; however, nearly         Senior Environmental Employment
   1.2 million older workers work part-time         (SEE) Program
   because of the weak job market or because
                                                    For more than 15 years, NCOA has been a
   they cannot find full-time work. These
                                                    sponsor of the SEE program, which provides an
   “involuntary” part-time workers represent 5%
                                                    opportunity for retired and unemployed older
   of the employed mature workforce. (AARP
                                                    Americans aged 55+ to share their expertise in
   Public Policy Institute, 8/10)
                                                    jobs for the Environmental Protection Agency
n	 In August 2010, almost 4% of workers aged        (EPA). SEE positions range from clerical to tech-
   55+ held more than one job. Doing so may         nical and professional assignments as technicians,
   indicate an inability to find a job that pays    writers, engineers, scientists, and accountants
   enough hours.                                    working for the environment. The NCOA SEE
                                                    program recruits candidates to work at EPA labo-
Discouraged Mature Workers                          ratories and offices in Washington, DC; Silver
                                                    Spring, MD; Stennis Space Center, MS; Boston,
n	 Discouraged mature workers are not looking
                                                    MA; Sacramento, CA; and Honolulu, HI.
   for work because they believe that none is
   available, employers will find them too old,
                                                    For more information, please visit
   they lack the necessary schooling/training, or
                                                    www.NCOA.org/enhancing-economic-security/
   they face other types of discrimination.
                                                    mature-workers.
n	 In August 2010, discouraged mature workers
   represented nearly 20% of older persons
   not in the workforce. (AARP Public Policy
   Institute)
n	 Low-skilled older men are especially likely to      Media contacts
   report this status and age discrimination—29%       Ken Schwartz: (202) 600-3131
   of men who did not complete high school             ken.schwartz@ncoa.org
   and 20% of high school graduates claimed
   their employers preferred younger workers,          Sandra Nathan: (202) 479-6676
   compared to 13% of men who had attended             sandra.nathan@ncoa.org
   college. (Urban Institute, 7/1/10)
                                                       about NcOa
NcOa’s Role                                            The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit
NCOA offers programs and hope for mature               service and advocacy organization headquartered
workers seeking to reenter or remain in the work-      in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for
force.                                                 older Americans—especially those who are vulner-
                                                       able and disadvantaged—and the community orga-
Senior community Service Employment                    nizations that serve them. It brings together non-
Program (ScSEP)                                        profit organizations, businesses, and government
For over 40 years, NCOA has operated SCSEP,            to develop creative solutions that improve the lives
which trains mature workers and places them in         of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands
community service jobs. The program provides           of organizations across the country to help seniors
temporary, on-the-job training in community            find jobs and benefits, improve health, live inde-
service assignments and job placement assistance       pendently, and remain active in their communities.
to low-income job seekers aged 55+. Participants       For more information, please visit www.NCOA.org.
work as child care providers, customer service
representatives, computer technicians, or health




  1901 L Street, NW, 4th Floor 		n		 Washington, Dc 20036 		n		 202-479-1200 		n		 www.ncoa.org

				
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posted:11/12/2011
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