Posted on 03 December 2010
By Mark Miller
Workers who are unemployed for less than five weeks are three times more likely to find new jobs than those who have been out of work for longer periods, The New York Times reports today.
The Times report is based on new data from the U.S. Department of Labor and found that “people out of work fewer than five weeks are more than three times as likely to find a job in the coming month than people who have been out of work for over a year, with a re-employment rate of 30.7 percent versus 8.7 percent, respectively.
The analysis by Times reporter Catherine Rampell is excellent, but the findings won’t surprise older unemployed workers, who face much longer job hunts than younger job-seekers. The story digs into the stigma surrounding long-term unemployment, employer perceptions that unemployed workers lose their edge after a certain period of time, and that skills become out of date.
Older workers simply must face the reality that most won’t be going back to the work they did before the recession began. There’s simply been too much structural change in the economy, and too much ongoing age discrimination for that to happen.
What’s going to work? Self-employment will be an important path–although the The Times story dismisses it as a cover-up for job hunting. Transitions to new careers will be equally important.
I deal with mid-life employment strategies extensively in my book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security. Also see the archives of stories here at RetirementRevised.com on encore careers, entrepreneurship and jobs.
Finally, click here for a directory of all resources for 50-plus workers on the site.