Unemployed retool, retrain, revise outlooks
This article originally appeared on the Toronto Blade.
Those who find new jobs often accept lower pay
CINCINNATI — In Cincinnati, 55-year-old David McCarty feels fortunate to be hauling hazardous chemicals cross-country in an 18-wheeler. But the work and pay are far removed from the life he used to have as a well-paid telecom executive.
In Cleveland, 56-year-old Warren James lost his manufacturing job after three decades of hard work. Now, the father of two is retooling — learning advanced manufacturing from instructors half his age.
And outside Toledo, 52-year-old Eric Russell has spent four years trying to land a new job. Despite construction experience, an engineering degree, his own Web site, and a 15-minute video he created for prospective employers, he still gets turned down.
For tens of thousands of Ohio baby boomers, the recession has delivered the big bust. Once unemployed, the state’s oldest workers take longest to be rehired. In early February, half of those claiming unemployment benefits for 74 weeks or longer were age 45 to 64.
Now, instead of easing into retirement, boomers are drawing down savings and starting all over. Instead of paying for their children’s college, they’re competing with young people for jobs. Instead of being valued for their experience, they’re having to learn new skills in hopes of simply keeping up.
Read the full article on the Toronto Blade.