Posted on 21 September 2012
By Mark Miller
Growing numbers of older Americans who have struggled to find work in the wake of the Great Recession are doing something they once considered unthinkable: They are taking temporary jobs.
And this is one of the best job moves they can make, according to Kerry Hannon, author of the new book AARP Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ (Wiley).
“But I call it independent contracting, not temping,” Hannon says. “It sounds more professional.”
While the 5.9 percent unemployment rate for people over age 55 is considerably lower than the 8.1 percent national average, those out of work have a hard time finding full-time jobs, mostly because they are more expensive to hire.
Unemployed people over 55 were jobless an average of 52.7 weeks in August, compared with just 36.1 weeks for younger workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Temporary work is providing a solution. Just in the past year, the independent workforce has grown to 16.9 million from 16 million, according to research by MBO Partners. Forty percent of those contractors are 50 and older, and 10 percent are over 65, the Herndon, Virginia-based temporary employment company found.