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Seniors Growing Frustrated In Search For Work

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Robbie Owens Robbie Owens
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The stagnant economy has been very rough on seniors.  The unemployment rate for those 55 and older has more than doubled in the past few years.

Many seniors like Corinne Moore are looking for work not because they want to — but, because they have to.

Moore likes staying busy, but now the Dallas senior is worried about paying her bills.  “I never thought I would be in this position.

Moore is one of many seniors left reeling from the recession.  “I just assumed that I’d go on working forever.”

“I’m talking people in their 70s and 80s that we’re helping find employment today,” says Allison Harding with Jewish Family Services.  “They’re surprised, they’re scared, they’re worried.”

Harding says the JFS employment counselors are seeing a lot of older North Texans looking for work– especially older women.  “Because of death of a spouse, divorce, or because their financial situation has completely changed.”

“I cannot live on social security and I am rapidly going through my 401k. And hopefully I will be around for a little bit longer and I really need to work,” says Moore.

In today’s economy, the job market is tight for everyone… but, seniors looking for work face a special challenge.

Moore reflects on some of her challenges. “I’ve had interviews, and been told: ‘we’ll let you know on friday’…  and they never call.”

For decades, Barbara Shefferly worked as an interior designer– even owning her own firm.  but, now?

“I’ve been turned down by 3 retail stores, and I just can’t imagine that it’s anything but age,” she says, frustrated.  “I’m very worried…but, I try.  I have to keep a positive attitude.  I just have to put it away, I just trust that there’s a job out there for me.”

Senior advocates encourage employers to take a second look at older applicants  – stressing they have a lot to offer the workplace.

The AARP has a list of resources on how people 50+ can look for work.  For more information, click here.

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