Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GAO Issues Repot of Recession on Employment Status of Older Americans

According to a report issued by the General Accountability Office (GAO) looking at unemployment and the recession, once older workers lose their jobs they are less likely to find other employment, household income has fallen 6% for adults aged 55 to 64, but increased by 5% for adults 65 and older, and older adults continued to spend more on medical care than those in younger age groups.

Specifically, in "Income Security: Older Adults and the 2007-2009 Recession," the GAO found that "the median duration of unemployment for older workers rose sharply from 2007 to 2010, more than tripling for workers 65 and older and increasing to 31 weeks from 11 weeks for workers aged 55 to 64. In addition, the proportion of older part-time workers who indicated they would prefer full-time work nearly doubled during this time."

It also found that median household net worth fell during the recession for older adults. Poverty rates increased for adults aged 55 to 64, but declined for those 65 and older, while low incomes were more prevalent in older age groups than in younger ones.

Source: General Accountability Office Report Abstract: GAO-12-76 (October 17, 2011)

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