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AARP The Magazine

Rob on the Road

Jobs: Some Good News for Older Workers

Everywhere I go, I hear that most of you are concerned about jobs and financial security. No doubt about it, unemployment is still too high, and experienced workers who are out of work are especially challenged.

(Read more about older workers and our 2013 Best Employers for Workers Over 50.)

AARP is deeply committed to helping these accomplished people turn their employment efforts into real possibilities. As the slow recovery continues, there's some good news. Employers in specific industries are facing worker shortages, which may help those of you struggling to find a job.

High-tech, health care and financial companies are all scrambling for employees. The mining industry is looking for engineers and geologists. The manufacturing sector needs welders, electricians, carpenters and robotics technicians. In agriculture there are too few workers to pick produce, and hotels and restaurants are having difficulty filling key positions.

In addition, many companies appreciate the value of older workers. The 2013 winners of the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 award, cosponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), know these employees bring knowledge into the workplace, along with maturity, experience and a proven ability to get along with customers. Experienced workers are often more motivated to exceed expectations on the job than their younger counterparts are, and they're more engaged, studies show.

Human resources managers in one SHRM study reported that when they're hired, older workers serve as mentors, embrace a strong work ethic and take their jobs seriously. In other words, they can provide their employers with a competitive advantage in a tough marketplace.

To help identify employers who understand the value of experienced workers, visit the AARP Life Reimagined website. We also offer tips on finding a job or starting a business. We understand the challenge, and we're all in this together.

Robert Romasco is the president of AARP.

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Video Extra

OLDER WORKERS: AARP Public Policy Institute Senior Strategic Policy Advisor Sara Rix discusses the state of the labor market and work force for older Americans. She explains why many older workers are staying in the work force beyond normal retirement age.

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