What’s the Nation’s No. 1 Problem?

It’s the government, stupid. Bill Clinton won a presidential campaign with the motto, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But these days the top issue to most Americans is the government, according to a new Gallup poll.   Some 21 percent of Americans polled in the Jan. 5-8 survey said that the most important problem facing the country today is the government itself - including poor leadership, corruption, abuse of power and general dissatisfaction with Congress and politicians in general. The second most important …

Extended Jobless Benefits Clear Hurdle in Senate

When it comes to unemployment, older Americans face a double whammy. Many face age discrimination. (About a third say that they – or someone they know – were recently discriminated against because of their age.) On top of that, employers also discriminate against job applicants who have been out of work the longest, according to Deborah Chalfie, AARP senior legislative representative for financial security. Of the unemployed, people 55 or older were out of work an average of 51 weeks, …

6 Things to Watch in Congress

Members of Congress are back in Washington with an agenda full of items important to older Americans. Here’s a rundown: Debt ceiling and federal budget. Two deadlines loom here. The federal government will run out of borrowing authority if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7. Although Capitol Hill lawmakers negotiated a budget deal in December that set overall spending, they must pass a bill with more specifics by Jan. 15. Each time budget deadlines hit, some lawmakers …

5 Best AARP Research Infographics of 2013

The end of the year & beginning of a new year is the time when everyone makes their “lists,” so here’s mine. 2013 was the year of the infographics for AARP Research. Infographics allow us to succinctly communicate important facts as well as tell an overall data story in a visual manner. We learned, like many others, that visual images get more attention than text as the brain can process the visual faster. Of the 48 infographics AARP Research has …

Jobless Rate Inches Up for Older Workers

The dog days of August brought a slowdown in summer hiring. Employers created a tepid 169,000 jobs last month, less than what economists expected, and the  unemployment rate for older workers inched up to 5.1 percent, the government reported Friday. Men aged 55 and older saw their jobless rate decline in August to 5.4 percent from 5.6 percent the month before. The situation was reversed for older women: the rate rose to 5.2 percent last month from 4.9 percent in July. Nationally, …

Saving Jobs in Hard Times

Is there a way to protect some workers – younger as well as older – from job loss during economic downturns? Some might be helped during the next recession if more employers have access to and use what is known as short-time compensation or work sharing. Work sharing is exactly what it sounds like – the sharing or spreading around of the available work when times are tough. Work sharing is not to be confused with job sharing, which is …