The 50+ Job Landscape: The Good, The Bad, and The Promising

Posted by in Expert Advice, Personal Finance.

50+ job market

A recent Forbes article brought together five aging and employment experts together to discuss the future of the 50+ job market.

With the ever-increasing life expectancy and an improving job market, our nation’s experienced workers are finding new opportunities to reinvent their careers later in life. However, some challenges do remain, as Richard Eisenberg points out in his recent Forbes article, “What You Should Know About the 50+ Job Market.”

The Good

Entrepreneurship is not only for the newly minted graduates. More and more people in middle age and older are pursuing their business ideas as they leverage their experience and capital gained over the years.

From Forbes:

The Kaufmann Foundation, which tracks such things, says businesses started by people 55 to 64 accounted for nearly a quarter of startups in 2013 — up from 14% in 1996.

The Bad

Age discrimination remains a problem across corporate America. Older workers can be considered expensive and a bad investment, and they are often overlooked in favor of young, inexperienced candidates who are willing to work for peanuts to get a foot in the door.

From Forbes:

It still takes people 55+ nearly twice as long to find work than those who are younger, whose average duration of unemployment is about 28 weeks.

Roughly 115,000 people over 55 now work three jobs, according to a recent CNNMoney article, up 60% from 2006.

The Promising

The demand for capable, experienced workers will outpace supply in the coming decades.

From Forbes:

Over the next 20 years, there’ll be no growth in the number of 45- to 65-year-olds in America, notes Hayutin. “So if you’re looking for mature workers with judgment and experience, you’ll have difficulty finding them unless you keep your older workers,” she says.

Encore! Encore!

An “encore career” is a person’s second vocation after their first career is behind them. Often these encore careers are instilled with more purpose, and those who pursue them find greater fulfillment than their first careers.

From Forbes:

A recent survey found that interest in encore careers among those age 50 to 70 rose from 24% in 2011 to 28% in 2014.

In the survey, only 12% of those interested in encore work said they were worried about earning enough income to do it; in 2011, a striking 30% felt that way.

When it comes to employment, there are always factors out of our control. But with some creativity, courage, and gumption, we predict a boom in demand for experienced workers, as well as an increase in people striking out on their own to deliver a passionate second act in their careers.


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