Finally, some good news about the economy. According to the commonwealth’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the Bay State unemployment rate continues to drop and remains well below the national rate of 9.9 percent. The state added 19,100 new jobs in April, the largest over-the-month job gain in 17 years. But, will this help 50+ workers still seeking work? With a little research, and a lot of preparation, unemployed older workers may gain a competitive edge on the job hunt.
Do Your Homework
Knowing where the jobs are is half the battle. A recent AARP Bulletin story found that many experts agree that the fields of health and education—both major drivers of the Massachusetts economy—are poised for the most growth, and offer great opportunity for older workers. A survey conducted by the MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures found that these fields, as well as green technology, will also be most affected by the aging of the workforce—retiring workers and a smaller pool of younger workers threatens to leave many unfilled positions in all sectors. Learn more about “recession-proof” careers.
Brush Up Your Skills
Whether you consider yourself an expert, or a complete novice, experts agree that brushing up on computer skills is particularly important for workers 50+, who often have to contend with the (usually incorrect) assumption that they are not as technologically savvy as younger generations. Local libraries offer free computer classes. Visit the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development for a list of local training opportunities.
Help with the Hunt
Going online is still the best way to search for opportunities near you. Bay State residents can take advantage of JobQuest, a free online service provided by the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development. There are also websites focused on helping workers 50+, including:
- Choose the right resume format for the job
- Focus on accomplishments rather than job duties
- Deal with age, dates and employment gaps
Learn more and register today.
For More Information
AARP is offering webinars throughout 2010 to help you succeed in your job search. Each webinar offers practical tools and resources tailored to the needs of 50+ workers. Upcoming topics include “Branding Yourself After 50” and “Networking 2010”.
Better Days for Older Workers
2010 Webinars for Job Seekers
AARP’s Work Portal