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Unemployment is soaring among people over 75 while age discrimination complaints are reaching new highs at the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. It takes jobless seniors 35 weeks to find a job.
Age discrimination complaints to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission have soared between 2008 and 2010 to the highest number since 1992.
Nowadays it takes much longer for older unemployed workers to find a job. In February, 2010, jobless workers 55 and older spend on average 35 weeks in their job searches compared to 25 weeks for those age 16 to 24.
Employers are not so eager as they once were to retain or hire older workers, according to the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. In the mid-2000s as businesses anticipated labor shortages upon the retirement of the Baby Boom generation, they started hiring more older Americans. Then the recession hit in late 2007.
The unemployment rate for workers 55 and older jumped from 3% in the second quarter of 2008 to 7% in the second quarter of 2010. This increase reflects 2.1 million additional unemployed older Americans. These figures do not include seniors who are no longer counted in unemployment figures because they've given up seeking work and have applied for Social Security.
The unemployment rate of people age 75 and over, which typically hovers around 3%, reached 5.7% in 2010.
AARP has been sponsoring career fairs for older Americans across America. One air in Cleveland pulled in 6,000 job-seekers.
Meanwhile, 15 community colleges have received grants to develop programs for students over 50. Among the programs are pharmacy tech, nursing assistant, and computer skills.
Even older Americas at the poverty level can get help from the federal Senior Community Service Employment Program. People who are over 50 and have been unemployed for more than six months are eligible. It helps seniors upgrade skills, provide a stipend for temporary volunteer work, and land a job.