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Older workers: The best of times, the worst of times

by on September 6, 2013

Forgive the rather Dickensian title, in fact taken from this article on the US-based Inland News Website. It highlights the mixed picture facing older workers in the US. Some of the trends echo the situation in the UK. Also interestingly (given our research on visual images), the article is illustrated by an image of an ‘older worker’ at the checkout of what looks to be the US answer to B&Q (The Home Depot). Similar orange clothing!

Anyway, the ‘best/worst’ position of Americans over 55 is that:
– their unemployment rate is lower than for any other recorded age group;
– but once they lose a job, they will stay unemployed for much longer than any other age group.

It seems that in the US some older workers can’t get the kind of job that they lost, because many well-paying jobs that once existed have been automated or outsourced. There is also a perception that younger workers may have the advantage of not having spent decades honing specialised skills and being more flexible about learning new skills.

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