Job Market Rough on Baby Boomers

Unemployment for 55-and-older set highest since WWII
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2010 12:05 PM CDT
A file photo of job seekers in San Jose, Calif.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – The economy may be showing signs of recovery, but the job prospects for out-of-work baby boomers remain troubling, reports NPR. The unemployment rate among the 55-and-older set hit 7.2%, the highest since the end of World War II. And while that may be lower than the overall rate, older workers tend to stay unemployed longer, with the average length more than 35 weeks.

In fact, a Pew survey shows that 1 in 3 older workers hasn't had a paycheck in more than a year. As a result, some older workers simply give up and declare early retirement, which might explain why a higher-than-expected 3 million people began drawing Social Security benefits last year. If the trend continues, the budget deficit could get even worse than forecast.

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