The economy is staggering back to life, but for those over 50 looking for a job, it may feel like the economy is still lying in a hospital bed. The most recent Department of Labor monthly jobs report says that people over age 55 spent an average of 54.2 weeks unemployed in May, compared with April, when the average was 50.2 weeks. (For people under 55, the average was about 36 weeks.)
But, according to Kerry Hannon, author of Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy And Healthy…And Pays the Bills, there is good news: In May, the unemployment rate for workers 55 and older was 5.3 percent, down from 5.8 percent in February. Considering it was 6.2 percent in March 2012, that is a positive trend.
If you’re looking for a job or switching careers, you’ve come to the right place. We took your job questions to Hannon, a career transition and retirement expert. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Are there jobs that are more open to people over 50?
Hannon says: “Part-time jobs, consulting, and contract jobs are always good bets for experienced workers. Before you worry that those jobs won’t pay your bills, keep in mind that it’s not unusual for these part-time projects or consulting gigs to grow into a full-time position once both parties have had a chance to vet one another. Other good fields are healthcare, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses. If you’re skillled in math and science, education is a field worth looking in to.
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By Andrea Atkins