This AARP Public Policy Institute fact sheet highlights the employment situation for older persons as of October 2010. The overall unemployment rate remained steady at 9.6 percent. At 7.3 percent, the unemployment rate for persons aged 55 and older was little changed from September’s 7.2 percent. Nearly 2.2 million persons in this age group were unemployed in October, 7,000 fewer than in September. For the first time in months, the number of older persons with jobs fell.
The average duration of unemployment for those aged 55 and older in October was 44.3 weeks, up from 42 weeks in September. As of October, more than half (55.6 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 rose in October and was nearly 78 percent higher than at the start of the recession. The number of discouraged workers was only slightly higher in October than it had been in September.