Older Workers Turn to Temping

Older Workers

Time has slowly passed, but the recession still haunts many of us.  Older individuals in particular have felt the negative effect of a jobless nation. Unfortunately, our older generation struggles just as much now as they did when the recession first occurred.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployed Americans over the age of 55 were without jobs for an average of 52.7 weeks according to August reports, compared to 36.1 for their younger counterparts.

More than 600 job seekers ages 40-69 took part in the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies Poll. Sadly, many took jobs that were below their skill level or pay grade.  Also, many resulted to taking part-time jobs because they were unable to find full-time work.  These individuals are known as “the underemployed.”

Temporary work has provided a sense of comfort for this segment of the workforce who are unable to find permanent employment. Employers are becoming more and more interested in temporary workers primarily because they’re hesitant to make full-time commitments.

The AARP reports, “The long-term unemployed are at risk of skills erosion and weakening labor force attachment, which further undermine the probability that they will find work. Older workers are more likely than younger workers to have been laid off from industries, like manufacturing, that had already been experiencing a decline prior to the recession and then worsened when the economic downfall hit. Those older workers will require new skills and training in order to transition into a new field in order to find employment.”

Many will settle for a junior position in comparison to what they were originally used to, but part-time work does have its advantages.  Kerry Hannon’s newest book, “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+,” explains why part-time work may be worthwhile for this demographic.

  • For starters, it gets your foot in the door and there’s always the possibility of it leading to full-time employment.
  • You have the opportunity to achieve decent pay.  Employers are willing to pay you generously, providing you are knowledgeable enough to solve their problems or needs quickly.  Fortunately, this is beneficial for an experienced worker because the employer doesn’t have to worry about training a younger and less qualified individual for the job.
  • On the job, you have the opportunity to build your professional network.  Make sure to remain close and in contact with your coworkers during your assignment.  The more connections with contacts you have, the better. You have a better opportunity of gaining a job referral from those previous connections made.
  • It keeps your skills sharp.  Many know the mantra: use it or lose it.
  • Lastly and more importantly, the benefit to part-time work is that it keeps your resume alive. Everyone knows how crucial it is to avoid holes or gaps in your resume.

The sizable population of older Americans out of work is an upsetting truth that has plagued our economy for the past few years.  Hopefully, our older generation will find some comfort in knowing temporary jobs may be the best short term solution to finding long-term possibilities for their future.






About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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