Sunday, August 5, 2012

Silver Lining for Seniors:Outpacing National Unemployment

Great news for seniors comes as the economy crawls to recovery. At the depths of the recession unemployment was as high as 10%. By the 3rd quarter of this 2012, the national unemployment rate dipped below 8%, to settle at 7.9.
Although, this is a welcome turn of events, there are still millions of people unemployed or under employed. Nevertheless, it’s a positive indication that the long awaited recovery process is at work. Fortunately, seniors are the age group benefiting the most from the jobs surge. A Daily News article by Elizabeth Lazarowitz reported that 70% of the jobs filled since 2010, were fill by candidates over 50. In the past two years nearly 3 million jobs were filled by seniors, which has driven the national unemployment rate for down to 6.7% for people over 50.

We’ve always heard that employers have little use for their senior employees, and instead chase them out for younger, “cheaper” talent. Well…finally, the tables have turned. It took a while, but it appears that wisdom, experience and stability has become much more attractive to companies for the obvious reasons. In the aforementioned Daily News article, Kate Wendleton, president of Five O’Clock Club is quoted as saying “When employers have a choice, they say, ‘I need someone who’s seasoned and who will be up and running” What seemed to be common sense, took decades for HR executives to ascertain: Training, learning curves, and mistakes are eminently more expensive than the higher salaries required for, shall we say, "seasoned " professionals. This is exhilarating news for anyone over 50 seeking to find a job, change jobs or careers. My only question is; Why has it taken so long for companies to appreciate the immense value an experienced, older employee brings to the table?

In these difficult times, companies are forced to go into stealth mode to sustain their profit margins and growth objectives. That entails staff trimming, budget cutting, and closely analyzing the performance data for a more vivid perspective on their bottom line. What do you think that ultimately revealed? New recruits - fresh out of college, usurp far more costs and waste than the tried-and-true “senior” employees. That said, those candidates over fifty, or pushing sixty should carry their experience and grey hairs with pride and confidence – as the short-sighted HR executives have finally seen the light.

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K Reilly
The Cohn-Reilly Report