Older white males hurt more by this recession
USA Today: Older white males hurt more by this recession
Dean Canaris, 56, a quality engineer for a Honda automotive supplier, was laid off in April and out the door in 30 minutes with no severance.
Harry Jackson, 55, an airline pilot and supervisor, lost his job in 2007 and, to his surprise, has found it nearly impossible to get another job.
Mark Montgomery, 53, was let go from an Owens Corning insulation factory in April and can't afford his $575 monthly mortgage payment.
These men from the Columbus, Ohio, area are the unusual new faces of joblessness in this groundbreaking recession: older men cut loose from employment at the peak of their earning power and work experience.
In previous recessions, veteran workers were largely spared the pain of widespread job cutbacks, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Layoffs tended to be concentrated among younger workers: The younger you were, the more likely you were to get fired. Traditional, bread-winning older males — especially white men — were the least vulnerable.
Not so today. Aging Baby Boomers are suffering a harsh employment bust.
"I never dreamed it would be so hard to put my skills back to work," says Jackson, who was assistant chief pilot at Skybus, a discount airline that went out of business.
Jobless rates for men and women older than 55 are at their highest level since the Great Depression, government data show. White men over 55 had a record 6.5% unemployment rate in the second quarter, far above the previous post-Depression high of 5.4% in 1983. The jobless rate for older black men was higher — 10.5% — but more than a percentage point below its 1983 peak.