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Job market tougher for seniors in US


08-31-2012 12:01 BJT

The US labor department says the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits was unchanged last week, a sign that the job market is stagnant. But looking beyond that data, it is workers over the age of 55 that are feeling the brunt of the country’s lack of jobs.

Out-of-work corporate managers meet in downtown Chicago to exchange tips from their job searches. The group’s leader, Julian Blumenthal, was an upper-level manager at a logistics company for several decades.

Julian Blumenthal, discussion leader of Executive Network Group, Greater Chicago, said, "It’s easy to get out of practice, there are going to be lots of disappointments along the way his isn’t just a good support group, it’s good group for discussing: how do you find a job."

With the U.S. job market still tight after years of high unemployment, there’s evidence that older, more experienced Americans are having more difficulty finding work than other groups.

Craig Mauro, CCTV correspondent, said, "The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobseekers over the age of 55 take a little more than a year, on average, to find a job. That’s twice as long as it takes the rest of the unemployed population."

The AARP, a lobbying group for retired Americans and people over the age of 50, recently launched a program to help those who may not have searched for a job in many years. The "Work Reimagined" website reflects the new realities of the jobs market.

Jean Setzfand, vice president of Financial Security, AARP, said, "What we’re trying to do is bring to the forefront jobs and employers who value experienced workers through a social network platform, like that of LinkedIn. So in essence what we’ve told older jobseekers is to network, network, network, and in this day and age, social networking."

One fear among older jobseekers is age discrimination, or companies preferring younger applicants because they’ll take a lower salary or fewer benefits.

Julian Blumenthal said, "It certainly exists. I put on blinders, frankly. If you get obsessed with younger people taking jobs, you’re not going to be successful."

Blumenthal has been looking for a job for two years and say it’s been a rollercoaster ride in recent weeks he’s had several good leads and is confident he’ll soon be employed again.

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