Seniors Growing Frustrated In Search For Work

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.

More from Robbie Owens
  • Grahawk

    Apply as a school bus driver, one industry that is aged friendly. It worked for me.

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  • Rick McDaniel

    Those over 50 yrs. of age, will find it nearly impossible to find work, in any field.

    They simply cost more, and no one will hire them, or, they no longer have the energy or skills to keep up with younger workers……….and no one is going to expect any less of them, in the workplace, than they would a young worker.

    Yet, our stupidly foolish Congress still toys with the idea of raising the SS and Medicare ages……..which would destroy most older workers in the future, who would have to basically accept forced retirement with only personal savings to cover them, in those stop gap years, between when their employers get rid of them, one way or another, and the time when they can indeed qualify for SS and Medicare benefits.

    For young people today, I simply recommend Roth IRA’s, to the maximum. You are going to need them.

  • branwren

    Being over 55 and looking for work I have been very frustrated. I got an email from a company today that tells me I didn’t qualify to even be interviewed for their Customer Service position with no reason given. I believe it is age discrimination as I am currently in a Customer Service position and have over 20 years customer service experience in a regulated environment. Another position tells me I have “considerable experience” yet another candidate was chosen. I read that as age discrimination. As it is unlawful to discriminate based on age we senior applicants get off the wall reasons we are not hired or no reason at all. I disagree with the previous poster that we can’t keep up with the younger generation. All the younger generation wants to do where I’m at now is watch You Tube or television on their computers or phones. They will not complete any work assigned to them properly and have to be constantly supervised. I don’t call that a bargain but it seems to be what companies want.

  • AllGrowdUp

    I would rather donate my time for medical experimentation than drive a school bus. I never have gained a fondness for rug rats. We as older Americans can say this. We have gotten past the kids (I hope) and maybe know what our grand kids look like. We are there everyday at work while most of the people taking off is for kids reasons. We work smarter, not harder. I think we intimidate the younger ones that are running the show. Another point, we can get a way with a lot more too because most of us have supervised at one point or another and know the ropes. These younger ones I think are afraid of confrontation. That works for us too. I say hoorah to it and lets keep our tradition up in that we never give up! Oh, we can actually carry on converstions without a phone up to our ear

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