Older Americans having harder time finding jobs

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Despite recent improvements in job creation statistics and the nation's unemployment rate, half of the people ages 45 to 70 who experienced unemployment during the past five years are not currently working, according to a survey conducted by AARP.  

Fifty percent of survey respondents reported they were either unemployed or had dropped out of the labor force. Among those who had become reemployed, nearly half said they were earning less than in their previous jobs.

The survey was sponsored by the AARP Public Policy Institute's Future of Work@50> initiative. A report on the survey results, "The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work after Unemployment," was released today at a Washington briefing and panel discussion on unemployment issues.

"As the economy continues to recover and the unemployment rate falls, there are still far too many people struggling," said Debra Whitman, chief public policy officer at AARP. "Many Americans want to work as long as possible but our survey confirms that, once unemployed, it can take a long time for older workers to find a quality job."

The survey also examines the different experiences between people who had been short-term unemployed — less than six months — with those who had been long-term unemployed — more than six months. 

Selected highlights from the survey include:

Methodology: The report was authored by Gary Koenig, Lori Trawinski, and Sara Rix of the AARP Public Policy Institute. There were 2,492 people ages 45 to 70, people who had been unemployed at some time during the past five years, contacted by research firm GfK between July and October of 2014. The respondents were part of a randomly selected online panel.

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