En español | The unemployment rate for older workers this year reached the highest on record since the federal government began tracking it in 1948.
The COVID-19 pandemic is making it even more difficult for Americans age 50-plus to keep and find jobs. That's why AARP is demanding action from our elected officials to protect the health and financial security of voters 50-plus, ensuring that older workers can recover from the economic downturn that the nation has faced since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
As employers have moved to open the economy, workers 50-plus are having to balance their health concerns over the coronavirus with their need and desire to return to work. The increased need for home care for older Americans has also led more family members to shoulder greater caregiving responsibilities, which means they may not be able to work at their full capacity.
What's at stake
Whoever is president in 2021 will set the economic agenda and ultimately need to sign legislation passed by Congress. Congress has the power to pass legislation that would shape the economy in various ways, including through changes to the nation's tax structure and any economic stimulus — such as added stimulus payments, as well as enhancements to caregiving and family leave policies, unemployment insurance benefits and other measures to address individual needs and to help the economy recover.
AARP guiding principles
As you consider a candidate, keep in mind AARP's priorities for addressing the national economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic:
- Congress should extend emergency unemployment benefits, including additional categories of eligibility and additional benefit amounts, until the pandemic and its economic effects end.
- Federal and state lawmakers should enact laws that would require paid sick and family leave benefits for all workers.
- State and federal lawmakers should provide additional support, including tax credits to caregivers, many of whom are spending more time caring for family members because of the pandemic.
- Ensure that employers do not discriminate against older workers in hiring them back after the pandemic.
For more information, please go to: aarp.org/Election2020.