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Monday, January 11, 2010

Older Workers Take Younger Opportunities

In a market shaped by mass job loss, mature workers are a critical workforce segment that has been hit particularly hard. Twenty-eight percent of workers age 55 and older who were laid off in the last 12 months found new jobs, the lowest of all age groups. This compares to 71 percent of those ages 25 to 34. A new study from CareerBuilder shows mature workers are expanding their job search to include entry-level positions, internships, relocation and other options to secure gainful employment – and employers are open to it.

Starting Over at Entry-Level

The majority (63 percent) of workers age 55 and older who were laid off in the last 12 months said they have applied for jobs below the level at which they were previously employed; 44 percent have been told by employers that they are overqualified.

In an effort to bring in a steady paycheck and get their foot in the door with a new organization, mature workers are now competing with recent college graduates and other new entrants to the workforce for entry-level positions.

One-in-four employers (26 percent) reported they have received applications from workers over the age of 50 for entry-level jobs (but not retired); an additional 11 percent have received entry-level applications from retirees. The vast majority of employers (65 percent) said they would consider experienced candidates who apply for jobs for which they’re overqualified.

Applying for Internships

Mature workers are also exploring internships as a way to land a longer term employment opportunity. Seven percent of employers reported mature workers have applied for internships at their organizations. Four percent have hired mature workers while 55 percent would be willing to consider mature workers for internships.

Considering a New Location

Embarking on a new adventure by moving to a new location is another option for some mature workers. Of mature workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and did not find a new job, 41 percent stated they would consider relocating to another city or state to find employment.

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