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The Employment Situation, October 2009

October 2009 was not a good month for the aged 55-plus worker, according to this AARP Public Policy fact sheet.

The unemployment rate for persons aged 55 and over rose to 7 percent in October from 6.8 percent in September. Until this year, the unemployment rate for the 55-plus age group had not exceeded 6 percent since September 1949. It has been well above 6 percent for much of 2009.

The number of persons aged 55 and over who had jobs fell by 50,000 in October, erasing most of the 69,000 gain seen in September.

Unemployed older workers spent more time looking for work in October than they did in September: average duration of unemployment for job seekers aged 55 and older rose from 32.8 weeks to 33.5 weeks.

The number of older persons who could be classified as job-seeking discouraged rose sharply in October after a sharp decline in September.

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