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The Employment Situation, March 2011: Little Change in Unemployment Rate for Older Persons, But Rise in Unemployment Duration

This AARP Public Policy Institute fact sheet highlights the employment situation for older persons as of March.  The unemployment rate for persons aged 55 and older ticked up to 6.5 percent from 6.4 percent the month before.  The number of unemployed rose by 7,000 and the number employed by 49,000.  The employment-to-population ratio remained unchanged at 37.5 percent.

The average duration of unemployment for jobseekers aged 55 and older rose from 45.5 weeks in February to 51.5 weeks in March.  As of March, more than half—54.7 percent—of these jobseekers had been out of work for 27 or more weeks, up from 50.2 percent in February.

March saw a slight improvement in the percentage of older workers who were employed part time because they could not find full-time work—from 5.4 percent in February to 4.8 percent.  The number of older discouraged workers, which has fluctuated considerably over the past three years, rose again in March.

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