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More Older Utah and Arizona Workers Employed

January 10
15:24 2014

Older Women WorkersGood news on the employment front: more of Utah’s older workers are finding jobs. The unemployment rate among seniors is dropping, both in the state and nationwide.

Since 2012, Utah’s unemployment rate for workers over 55 dropped nearly 2 percent. According to the AARP, the national jobless rate in November for workers over 55 was just under 5%–a half percent down from October. That’s the lowest jobless rate for seniors in the past 5 years.

Coconino County Awarded by AARP

Programs designed to prepare Coconino County employees for retirement and to promote a healthy lifestyle landed the County on AARP’s list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50.

To help older Baby Boomers get started again, programs and networking opportunities in a variety of fields are being offered by community colleges and government agencies throughout Arizona. is one such agency — a website dedicated to helping the older workforce with employment resources and career information to achieve their goals.

U.S. Employment Outlook

According to AARP, the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey indicates growing optimism among U.S. employers. Of more than 18,000 surveyed, 17 percent anticipated hiring more employees in their first-quarter. That’s the best outlook in six years.

Last month, the U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. The unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since 2008, to 7 percent.

Overall, things were brighter for workers of all ages. For older workers, the November unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent, down from 5.4% in October. The rate fell for both women and men over 55.

Older Can Be Better

Laura Polacheck with the AARP Utah points out that employers gain a lot by hiring older workers.

They have a lot of experience dealing with colleagues, and completing work on time and making sure their performance is at a peak level,” says Polacheck. “Because of years in the workforce, they appreciate what it’s like to contribute to a job and do well.”


Back to Work

Polacheck says many older Americans returned to work after losing some, if not all, of their retirement nest eggs during the Great Recession.

People who had investments and were relying on them for their retirement may be very disappointed because those assets have gone very far down,” says Polacheck. “And of course, if they leave the workforce, they don’t have employment income coming in, so they have to go back into the workforce.”

According to AARP, the top 5 jobs in demand for 2014 are:
1) Healthcare
2) Financial Planning
3) Leisure and Hospitality
4) Retail
5) Professional and Business Services

Workers over 50 can find more valuable job-searching tips and advice on the AARP website at

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