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The suddenly hot job market for those over 50

Are you a senior who is currently seeking employment opportunities? I know it can be a challenge to look for work when you’re already in your golden years. Your retirement is just a few more years down the road and some companies may not be willing to take the risk.

But don’t be discouraged. Job market trends are looking rosy for the 55-and-over population. With your wealth of experience, relationships, and honed trade expertise, more and more companies are looking to hire reliable and skilled seniors over younger applicants.

If you need a few more years of employment to save for your retirement, read on and let’s explore why things are looking up for senior workers.

55-and-over employment is on the rise

According to a report from CNBC, more companies are now hiring more experienced senior workers due to a tight labor market.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in the States, the unemployment rate for people who are 55 and over is a mere 3.2 percent as of February 2018, lower than the 4.1 percent unemployment for the entire U.S. population.

This is significantly greater than the number from 20 years ago when less than a third of the 55-and-over demographic were employed. Today, that number stands at 40 percent, up from a mere 10 percent in 1990.

Why the huge jump? Well, baby boomers have everything to do with it.

Baby boomers

The surge of over-55 employment can be linked to increasing apprehensions among baby boomers. Baby boomers, people born between early-to-mid 1940s to mid-1960s, are now facing longer life expectancies and most don’t feel that they do not have enough savings to go into retirement at age 65.

Many companies do not provide concrete benefits and this lack of pension certainty is causing baby boomers to keep working. Boomers are also commonly well educated and they genuinely enjoy their jobs so they are staying in the workforce even longer.

Age brings experience

A tight labor climate also creates the need for more seasoned employees and providing an office climate that’s conducive to older workers is essential for companies if they want to succeed.

Older workers are typically more reliable, stable, and they have a wealth of experience they can pass on to younger workers. This experience also brings a time-tested perspective that comes in handy for risk evaluations and relationship building.

Challenges still lie ahead

Despite the growing number of companies that are recognizing the value of age and experience, obstacles still exist for 55-and-over workers.

In fact, age discrimination is reported to be still rampant and it’s usually based around common stereotypes about older individuals including the unwillingness to learn new technology or the notion that older people won’t stay long on a company before they start thinking about retirement.

But the future still looks bright for seniors seeking work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 65-and-over demographic will experience the fastest rates of labor force growth by 2024. On that note, let’s just hope our economy will be able to generate enough jobs for everyone by then.

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