This AARP Public Policy Institute fact sheet highlights the employment situation for older persons as of May 2011. Nonfarm payroll employment growth slowed substantially in May compared to April. During May, the unemployment rate for persons aged 55 and older rose from 6.5 percent to 6.8 percent. Nearly 2.1 million people aged 55 or older were unemployed in May, 88,000 more than in April. The employment-to-population ratio remained essentially unchanged.
The average duration of unemployment for jobseekers aged 55 and older first exceeded one year in April and continued to rise in May, when duration of unemployment averaged nearly 55 weeks. As of May, 57.8 of older jobseekers had been out of work for 27 or more weeks, also an increase over the month before.