According to a new PPI Fact Sheet by Sara E. Rix of the AARP Public Policy Institute, private sector payroll employment rose by 71,000 in July, much of it in manufacturing and health care according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.5 percent.
At 6.9 percent, the unemployment rate also remained unchanged for persons aged 55 and older. Nearly 2.1 million persons in this age group were unemployed in July, 7,000 fewer than in June.
The average duration of unemployment for those aged 55 and older in July was 40.6 weeks, unchanged from the June figure. As of July, more than half of these jobseekers had been out of work for 27 or more weeks.
Most older persons who are out of the labor force say that they do not want a job (97 percent), a figure that has remained stable since the start of the recession. However, the number expressing interest in work rose by 54,000 between June and July and was about 66 percent higher in July than it was at the start of the recession—1,372,000 vs. 826,000 in December 2007. After rising to 289,000 in June, the number of older discouraged individuals fell to 269,000, or by 6.9 percent, in July.