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COVID-19’s Toll on Jobs Makes This Labor Day Different

AARP is helping older Americans find good jobs, even when hiring has slowed

 jo ann jenkins  c e o of a a r p

Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Jo Ann Jenkins

En español | This Labor Day is one of the craziest in the holiday’s history.

As states begin to reopen their economies, many people who have lost their jobs or been laid off worry about finding work. Others prepare to return to a much different work environment than the one they left in the spring. And still others are working from home, in ways they could never have envisioned six months ago.

Whatever your situation, AARP offers help in adapting to the new work environment.

For older adults, a job is not just a way to make money; it’s an opportunity to share decades of experience, to stay active physically and mentally, and to both mentor and learn from colleagues of all ages.

As we all respond to unexpected difficulties that the coronavirus pandemic has created, AARP is providing a number of tools and resources to help people 50 and older build careers with companies that welcome their talents. If you are looking for work, our online Job Board can help connect you with full-time and part-time openings. Many of these positions are with companies that have signed AARP’s Employer Pledge, in which they acknowledge the value of experienced workers and promise to recruit across diverse age groups.


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Using the Job Board, you can look for work without leaving home. You may have fewer opportunities to meet with recruiters during the pandemic, so it’s important to highlight your skills and achievements effectively when you apply for jobs online. If you haven’t updated your résumé recently, make sure it’s polished. With AARP’s Resume Advisor tool, you can get a free critique of your résumé. 

Looking for a job while social distancing also means that if you land an interview, that conversation may happen remotely. Many of you may be using Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or another videoconferencing platform to stay in touch with your loved ones. If you haven’t tried these technologies yet, AARP has tips from experts that can help you look and sound your best. 

During this challenging time, AARP remains committed to ensuring that people who are 50 and older have opportunities to compete for jobs fairly. The layoffs and business shutdowns since the outbreak began have been devastating for all age groups. But history has shown that, all too often, when tough times hit, older workers face a disproportionate impact. During the Great Recession of 2007–09, for example, the Urban Institute reported, older workers who lost their jobs were less likely than younger adults to find new employment. When they did get jobs, their monthly income was 23 percent lower than in their previous positions. 

You’re not in this alone. Very early on in the crisis, we successfully lobbied Congress to extend unemployment benefits for workers affected by the outbreak, including self-employed, contract and gig workers. AARP also supported additional unemployment payments of $600 per week. You can rest assured that our work on your behalf continues.

Looking for a job can be difficult even in the best of times. But it also can lead you to new pathways for personal and financial fulfillment. At AARP we are committed to helping you find the job that works for you.

Our Support for Older Workers Includes...

Employer Pledge Program: AARP has gotten more than 1,000 employers to sign a pledge to hire based on ability, regardless of age.

Job Board: The site features jobs,  both full- and part-time, that are perfect for older workers.

Work Reimagined: AARP offers effective resources and innovative tools for older workers and confronts age discrimination in the workplace.

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