Jobless Rate Edges Down for Older Workers

The following is a guest blog from John Burgess, money editor on AARP’s content creation team.

Fifty-five and older and looking for a job? There was a bit of good news for your age group in the federal government’s jobs report for June. The jobless rate for older workers fell to 6.2 percent, from 6.5 percent in May. But employers did not bestow the bounty equally among men and women. While the rate for older men fell from 7.0 percent in May to 6.7 percent in June, for older women it rose from 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent.

See also: Job Tips for 50+ Workers.

Unemployment rates for older workers tend to be lower than the national figure. But if you’re in the group that’s unlucky enough to be jobless, you’re likely to remain that way much longer than younger people.

Older people who were jobless in June had been looking for work for an average 55.6 weeks, though as a silver lining that was a slight improvement over May’s 56-week figure. Younger workers, meanwhile, had been jobless an average 35.2 weeks as of June, down from 38.5 weeks as of May.

Older workers continued to make up more than half (52.6 percent) of the long-term unemployed, people who’d been look for six months or more. That was a discouraging figure, but it was at least headed in the right direction, down a bit from the 54.9 percent figure of May.

For the country as a whole, June was another month of tepid growth. The economy added just 80,000 jobs; the unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent.

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Photo Credit: David McNew/Reuters