December 2012 marked five years since the official start of the Great Recession. This AARP Public Policy Institute fact sheet looks back at employment developments during those five years, comparing three age groups: 16-24, 25-54, and 55-plus over the five-year period. It also provides a snapshot of the December 2012 employment situation based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on January 4, 2013.
For many of America’s workers, the employment situation has improved since the end of the Great Recession, but it is still far bleaker than it was in December 2007. Among older Americans, trends that began before the recession continued during the recession and after it ended—their numbers in the population and labor force increased, as did their labor force participation rate. The aged 55-plus unemployed, however, had a very tough time during the recession and have not fared all that well since it ended. The extent to which they are able to make up losses in earnings, retirement savings, and pension accumulation remains to be seen.