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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Volunteer Jobs Still Strong with Older Workers


While many older workers in the USA continue to struggle to find meaningful full-time careers it has not deterred them from continuing to generously give of their time as volunteers.
Few Facts from Bureau of Labor Statistics:

* Men Spend slightly more time volunteering than Women.
* Significantly more Women then Men volunteer.
* 45-54 year olds were most likely to volunteer.

Both the number of volunteers and the volunteer rate rose over the year ended
in September 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. About
63.4 million people, or 26.8 percent of the population, volunteered through
or for an organization at least once between September 2008 and September
2009. In 2008, the volunteer rate was 26.4 percent.

Volunteering Among Demographic Groups

The volunteer rate of women increased from 29.4 percent in 2008 to 30.1 per-
cent in 2009, while the volunteer rate for men, at 23.3 percent, was essen-
tially unchanged. As in previous years, women volunteered at a higher rate than
did men across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic
characteristics. (See tables A and 1.)

By age, 35- to 44-year olds and 45- to 54-year olds were the most likely to
volunteer. Their volunteer rates were 31.5 percent and 30.8 percent, respec-
tively, in 2009. Volunteer rates were lowest among persons in their early twen-
ties (18.8 percent) and those age 65 and over (23.9 percent).

Volunteering By EMPLOYMENT Status

During the year ending in September 2009, 29.7 percent of all employed persons
volunteered. By comparison, the volunteer rates of the unemployed (22.9 per-
cent) and those not in the labor force (22.6 percent) were lower. Among the em-
ployed, part-time workers were more likely than full-time workers to have par-
ticipated in volunteer activities--33.7 versus 28.7 percent. (See table 1.)

From 2008 to 2009, those employed full time showed a large increase in their
volunteer rate--from 27.8 to 28.7 percent. This was led by women employed full
time, with an increase of 1.4 percentage points in their volunteer rate. Among
men, the largest increase in the volunteer rate was among the unemployed; it
rose from 17.0 to 18.2 percent over the year.

Total Annual Hours Spent Volunteering

Male volunteers spent a median of 52 hours on volunteer activities during the
period from September 2008 to September 2009, while female volunteers spent a
median of 50 hours. Median annual hours spent on volunteer activities ranged
from a low of 36 hours for those 25 to 34 years old to a high of 90 hours for
volunteers age 65 and over. The 20- to 24-year-old group showed the largest
over-the-year change in median hours volunteered, decreasing by 8 hours to a
median of 40 hours. This followed an increase of 7 hours for this group in
2008. (See table 2.)

Number and Type of Organizations

In 2009, the main organization--the organization for which the volunteer worked
the most hours during the year--was most frequently religious (34.0 percent of
all volunteers), followed by educational or youth service related (26.1 per-
cent). Another 13.9 percent of volunteers performed activities mainly for so-
cial or community service organizations. (See table 4.)

Older volunteers were more likely to volunteer mainly for religious organiza-
tions than were their younger counterparts. For example, 44.8 percent of vol-
unteers age 65 and over did their service mainly through or for a religious
organization, compared with 28.6 percent of volunteers age 16 to 24.

Source:BLS http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm

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