It’s Put-An-Oldtimer-to-Work Week

Starting today, Monday, it’s National Employ Older Workers Week.

The state Department of Employment Security, concerned because workers 55-plus are bearing the brunt of the slowdown more than other workers, has set up an online calendar of events aimed to help. It’s at, and highlights an array of workshops, job clubs and training labs that address challenges older workers face.

“Many older workers were continuously employed for many years, and they may not be up to speed on the latest job-search strategies,” said Carmen Cook, Employment Security’s area director in Pierce County. “Our workshops and job clubs offer a friendly atmosphere to learn about online applications, social networking and other tips for successfully navigating the job market.”

In 2006, workers aged 55 and older made up 11.3 percent of all unemployed workers in Washington. That rose to 14.5 percent in 2009 and climbed further in 2011, to 15.4 percent.
By March of this year, only 21 percent of the older workers who ran out of unemployment benefits had found work in Washington. The average earnings for those re-employed the longest were about half their pre-layoff earnings, while those most recently re-employed averaged about one-third of their pre-layoff wages.

— Rachel Pritchett

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