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[Excerpt] The number of workers age 55 and over experiencing long-term unemployment has grown substantially since the recession began in 2007. This raises concerns about how long-term unemployment will affect older workers’ reemployment prospects and future retirement income.

In light of these developments, GAO examined (1) how older workers’ employment status has changed since the recession, (2) what risks unemployed older workers face and what challenges they experience in finding reemployment, (3) how long-term unemployment could affect older workers’ retirement income, and (4) what other policies might help them return to work and what steps the Department of Labor (Labor) has taken to help unemployed older workers.

To conduct this work, GAO analyzed nationally representative datasets, led focus groups of unemployed older workers, modeled how job loss affects retirement income, and interviewed experts and federal and local officials.


Suggested Citation
Government Accountability Office. (2012). Unemployed older workers: Many experience challenges regaining employment and face reduced retirement security. Washington, DC: Author.