WASHINGTON, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest job statistics show a grim outlook for the nation's mature workers, but an initiative from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) aims to improve older adults' likelihood of securing training, jobs, and financial support.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest figures indicate that 5.8% of workers aged 55+ were jobless and actively seeking employment in February. While this figure is lower than the national average of 7.7%, unemployed mature workers are more likely to be out of work longer than their younger counterparts. In 2012, adults aged 55-64, on average, were unemployed for 54.6 weeks, compared to 36.4 weeks for workers aged 25-34.
"Being age 55-64 and out of work is particularly difficult, because you're unable to tap into the traditional safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security," said Nora Dowd Eisenhower, senior vice president of economic security at NCOA. "But jobs still matter for this population. With years of life still ahead of them, mature workers need opportunities now for training or retraining that leverage their experience and give them marketable job skills."NCOA, with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, is piloting one solution. Over the next year, NCOA will partner with agencies in New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, and Virginia to help hundreds of low-income, older adults obtain work skills training along with services and benefits that maximize their budgets and help them get out of debt. Also, supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, thousands more mature workers will benefit from JobSource, a soon to be launched website that will help older adults assess their job skills, conduct a job search, and find job training online.