by DAN CALLOWAY
Published 16 December 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – The current state of our economy remains grim. The White House and the Obama administration would have us believe that the economy is turning around and that there is light at the end of the economic tunnel.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it is not. The current jobless rate is 9.3% in my age bracket of 50-60 year-olds in my State of NC. It’s even higher for other ethnic groups, such as blacks and Hispanics. Of the 14.9 million unemployed individuals in this nation, 2.2 million of those are over 55. Almost half of them have been unemployed for six months or more.
What I’m saying is a good barometer for how our economy is doing can be found in the statistics relating to our unemployed. Most of the unemployed citizens of the US who are over 55 may never be able to go back to work. Why, you might ask?
Today, the job search process has become somewhat impersonal. No longer can individuals go into a place of business and fill out an application. If they can, this is extremely rare. Most of the time, they will be told by managers or human resources to go home and fill out an application online. When the individual who is looking for work does this, they send out their resumes and cover letters to a database, not a human being. Those on the receiving end use computer programs to sort through the thousands upon thousands of resumes received looking for keywords, which correspond to the attributes for which the employer is interested. If your resume keywords don’t appear in the database…you don’t get screened, and you certainly don’t get an opportunity to let the employer know that you are a qualified individual for the job.
The feeling that I come away with when submitting applications online is that no one cares. They don’t care about me or my personal situation. They really don’t care if I have a job or not. The bottom line is…they don’t care, and caring is not in their job description. Looking for work today is synonymous to how an ex-convict is treated after s/he is released from prison; no one wants to talk to you and certainly no one is willing to give you an opportunity to work for them.
Many jobseekers over 55 today feel that they are discriminated against. I know that I do. No one wants to hire an over-50 individual because of the increased risks of health issues and because the employer most likely will not be able to mold that individual into who they want them to be. The over-50 job unemployed group feel that when they submit their resumes to prospective employers, they just get tossed or moved to the bottom of the pile in deference to the younger jobseeker. This is just a fact of life these days.
So, what are those in their 50′s and 60′s who find themselves without jobs today supposed to do? If they can afford to do it, they should retire early and stop looking for work because they will only be struggling in an up-hill battle. Others who can’t afford to retire just yet will have to wait out the storm and sell all they can to make ends meet or declare bankruptcy and get protection through the courts to escape the abuse of the collection agencies. It’s a sad time in which we live now. The economy doesn’t appear to be getting any better despite what Washington tells us. The decision on what you must do to survive this economic storm is probably one of the hardest decisions you will have to make in your entire lifetime.