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Observing National Employ Older Workers Week

NOTE: this press release was issued by Washington State Employment Security on Monday morning, September 24, 2012 in honor of National Employ Older Workers Week. Observed yearly since the Eisenhower administration, it is observed the last full week in September.

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Older workers in Washington state not immune to employment challenges – September 24, 2012

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Audio: /newsandinformation/releases/audio/index.php OLYMPIA – In honor of National Employ Older Workers Week, Sept. 24-28, Washington’s WorkSource system has created an online calendar of events geared toward older workers.

The calendar highlights an array of specialized workshops, job clubs and training labs offered through WorkSource that address the unique challenges that older workers face in the job market.

“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.”

Data for Washington show that workers age 55 and older were disproportionately affected by layoffs and are having a harder time finding new work.

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.

Among unemployed Washington workers who ran out of unemployment benefits from July 2008 through March 2012, 31 percent were aged 55 and older.

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.

The Older Workers Week Calendar of Events can be found online at http://www.wa.gov/esd/OlderWorkersWeek.htm.

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About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.

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