09/21/2012 04:59 pm ET

Older Workers Still Struggling After Great Recession

Three years after the Great Recession officially ended, boomers are still having a hard time making ends meet and finding jobs, according to a new AARP report.

The report, "Boomers and the Great Recession: Struggling to Recover," paints a grim picture of post 50s' mindsets when it comes to their financial well-being. A sample of "current or recent workers" ages 50 to 64 were contacted in October 2010, with a smaller group contacted again in August 2011 to see if boomers felt any differently about their prospects.

"The recession’s effects on older Americans were particularly severe for salary earners in their 50s and early 60s who were counting on more than a few years of additional earnings before retirement and were unlucky enough to lose their jobs."

An overwhelming number of older workers -- who, the study pointed out, have less time than their younger counterparts to recover from job loss or tumbling stock markets and housing values -- felt less secure about their finances. In the first survey, more than half of the 5,027 respondents still felt financially insecure a year after the recession, the report found. The top three reasons for the concern: 65 percent said their jobs didn't pay enough, 54 percent said they had used up their savings and 49 percent said they had debts to repay.

Incomes declined for more than 45 percent of boomers, thanks to myriad of issues including job loss -- 22 percent said unemployment was the reason they were facing tougher times, according to the report. Household incomes fell by 6 percent for Americans between the ages of 55 and 64, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Recent news also tells us that older workers are less likely to be rehired after they've been laid off. Thanks to lower incomes and job loss, two-thirds of respondents reported they had to dip into their retirement funds. For those 2010 respondents, more than half -- 51 percent -- faced a period where they had difficulty making ends meet.

Boomers' outlooks didn't get much brighter when researchers checked back with a smaller group (1,304 respondents) in August 2011.

"For example, eight out of 10 boomers unemployed in 2010 were still unemployed in August 2011. More than two in five boomers felt that job opportunities where they lived had worsened since the first interview and only about one in four anticipated that job opportunities would be better in another year."

The one plus side? Nine out of 10 boomers who were employed in 2010 were still working in 2011.



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