POSTED: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 5:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 9:21am
Columnist Charles Krauthammer made a remarkable statement about unemployment over the weekend, and it reflects a reality many baby boomers are facing in this recession.
But is he right?
“In 2007, the average time to get a new job was about 5 weeks,” Krauthammer said on Fox News. “It’s now near 6 months. And that implies there could be a whole segment of the population, the more elderly or middle aged, who may never get employed again.”
That’s right, he said some middle-age and older workers may never find work again.
And indeed, this recession is different.
Workers have never waited this long to find that next job, at least since the great depression.
The average time you’ll spend looking for that new gig is not up to 39 weeks.
If you are 55 years old, it is nearly 55 weeks…over a year.
“I’m not surprised at all,” says Michele Knox of Tyler Junior College, who helps workers thinking of changing careers.
“No, that’s what I’m hearing from the potential students that are coming in,” she says. “They have been looking, looking, looking. They have all this experieince in a certain field. And they’re still not finding anything.”
The long wait for a new job doesn’t surprise her. But for workers who spent a lifetime putting together what they think is a great resume, it can be shattering.
And the fear of starting over?
“You know we see a lot of things in the world that have an age limit,” Knox says. “I tell my students, because they say, well I’m 50, I’m 60, I’m 45…there is no age limit on education.”
So the bad news is that yes, the job market for the middle aged worker is dismal.
The good news is that you can take that lying down or not. That is not up to any employer.
It’s up to you.