En español | As the states begin the process of reopening their economies, many people who have lost their jobs worry about finding work. For older adults, a job is not just a way to make money. It’s an opportunity to share decades of valuable experience, stay active physically and mentally, and both mentor and learn from colleagues of all ages.
These are some of the reasons the news of the 13.6 percent unemployment rate for adults age 55 and older is especially troubling. Before the pandemic hit, there were 37.8 million people age 55 and older in the nation’s workforce, a share that had been growing steadily for two decades. These adults stay on the job because they value the fulfillment that comes from using their skills and interacting with their coworkers. The income they earn while working enables them to meet financial responsibilities and enjoy life now, while also saving for their future retirement.
As we all respond to unexpected difficulties the pandemic has created, rest assured that AARP is maintaining its commitment to helping you find employment that meets your needs. That’s why we provide a number of tools and resources to help people age 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 to 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, something that’s especially beneficial during the pandemic. You may have fewer opportunities to meet with recruiters face-to-face at this time, so it’s even more 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. Through AARP’s Resume Advisor tool, you can get a critique of your résumé for free.
Social distancing also means that if you land a job interview, that conversation may happen remotely rather than in person. Many of you may be using Zoom, Skype or other videoconferencing platforms 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 when you log on for your interview.
During this challenging time, AARP remains committed to ensuring that people age 50 and older have the opportunities to compete for jobs fairly. The layoffs and business shutdowns since the outbreak began have been devastating across 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 2007-2009, for example, the Urban Institute reported that older workers who lost their jobs were less likely than younger adults to find new ones. When they did get hired, their income was 23 percent lower than in their previous position.
You’re not in this alone. Very early on in the crisis, we successfully urged Congress to permit states 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, a temporary measure that has proven to be a lifeline for many who have yet to find work. Rest assured our work on your behalf continues.
Looking for a new job can be difficult, even at the best of times. But, when successful, it also can lead you to new pathways for personal and financial fulfillment. At AARP — through our tools, resources and advocacy efforts — we are committed to helping you find the job that works for you.