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Boomers in the job market do the hustle

Marketplace Staff Feb 19, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: The Labor Department releases its weekly report on initial jobless claims today. The unemployment rate for aging baby boomers has doubled over the past year. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports on the challenges facing older workers.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: Fifty-one-year-old Tom Breunig lost his marketing job in December. He’s been networking furiously, but hasn’t had a single interview. Now he’s starting his own consulting business in Portland, Ore.

Breunig says unemployment is especially tough for boomers. They’re used to the go-go 80’s. Big hair, big money, lots of jobs.

Tom Breunig: There may be a feeling of entitlement which can lead, in this kind of time, to a sense of frustration.

Frustration caused by these statistics: The unemployment rate for workers aged 55 to 64 has gone from 3 [percent] to 6 percent over the past year, according to the Urban Institute.

The Institute’s Sheila Zedlewski says older, male boomers have been hit hardest.

Sheila Zedlewski: The older adults working in construction, manufacturing. The kinds of industries that have been hit the hardest.

Zedlewski says college-educated boomers may have trouble finding jobs if their computer skills aren’t up to scratch.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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