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Opinion
Teresa Ghilarducci

How to Get Hired If You're an Older Worker

It's not easy for older workers to rejoin the labor force, but online courses and networks for the 50-plus set can help.

Going back to work?

Going back to work?

Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP

Almost everybody needs or wants to work in their 50s and most need to work into their 60s. But the pandemic hasn't been kind to older workers.

The “Great Resignation” — a term that describes those who have been emboldened to seek raises or discover better things to do than work — mostly applies to young and mobile workers. Only employees ages 16 to 24 have seen big wage gains, while older workers' wages have been stagnant. In addition, a sizable chunk of older workers, about 15%, lost their jobs in 2020 compared to 14% of prime-age workers. That's counter to the trend of older worker job loss usually being lower compared to other age groups during a recession.