SHRM Online (05/18/12) Kathy Gurchiek
The problem of long-term unemployment among older workers in the U.S. was the focus of a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on May 15. The hearing coincided with the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s release of a report that found the number of workers age 55 and older who have been unemployed more than six months has doubled since the recession began in late 2007.
Committee chairman Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) noted that while less than one in four unemployed older workers were out of work in 2007, more than half of unemployed workers who were out of work four years later were over the age of 55 “and confronting long-term unemployment.” Kohl pointed to the Platform to Employment program as one that “shows real potential” for helping to solve the problem of unemployment among older workers. The program partners with local businesses by placing older workers into internships. Additionally, Kohl announced his support for the proposed Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act that was introduced earlier in March.