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The Employment Situation, September 2010: Older Workers Have Little to Cheer About Once Again

The overall unemployment rate remained steady at 9.6 percent. At 7.2 percent, the unemployment rate for persons aged 55 and older was little changed from August’s 7.3 percent.  Nearly 2.2 million persons in this age group were unemployed in September, 29,000 fewer than in August.

The average duration of unemployment for those aged 55 and older in September was 42 weeks, up from 39.2 weeks in August.  As of September, more than half (54 percent) of these jobseekers had been out of work for 27 or more weeks.

Most older persons (97 percent) who are out of the labor force continue to say that they do not want a job.  However, the number who did express interest in work, which had fallen in August, rose in September and was nearly 68 percent higher than at the start of the recession.  The number of discouraged workers also rose in September.