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Surviving Recession

Older workers are barely making ends meet in an economy with few jobs

Veronica McGill, still jobless, with her son - recession survivors

— Photo by Wayne Lawrence/INSTITUTE

Veronica

It took 57-year-old Veronica McGill three years to find a job — and it was a temporary one at that — paying about two-thirds of her previous salary. McGill exemplifies findings by the nonprofit Urban Institute: that laid-off workers ages 50 to 61 who find jobs earn on average three-quarters of their previous salary. (Workers 62-plus reported earning half.) For McGill, pictured with her son, Askia, the paralegal job she snared in September didn't come soon enough. After she lost her previous one in the financial services industry in 2008, she used up her savings and stopped paying the monthly $1,850 mortgage on her Maryland townhouse. She's been facing foreclosure for three years, and now the clock has run out on her temporary job. She's decided to seek an MBA, using financial aid. "I'm getting back on my feet," McGill says. "I'm not there yet."

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