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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard an older job seeker say, “Companies don’t want to hire people in their 50s.” But per this article and the Bureau of Labor Statsitics, the number of people over age 55 who have a job has increased by 1.69 million over the past year, now up to nearly 30.2 million workers! As the article states:

That’s a far larger increase than for any other age group. By contrast, the number of jobholders age 25 to 54 has increased by just 322,000 over the same period, even though that group includes more than three times as many total workers. The unemployment rate for workers 55 and over, at 5.9 percent, is also lower than for any other age group.

This is great news! But we must still look at it realistically. Just because the numbers trend toward older workers finding it easier to get new jobs than before doesn’t mean it will happen overnight. The market is still tight, and stats like this can lead us to think and feel otherwise.

Just the other day I was talking with an older job seeker who had no idea how long finding employment could take. He has been out of a job less than three months, and while I know that seems like an eternity to him, it’s really not that long. He thought he should have had a job by now – because he was misreading and relying on stats like this.

Putting on my Career Coach hat, I explained to him that it’s going to take a lot of work. Like many of us, he has great skill sets but has gotten caught up in answering ads as his primary job hunting strategy.  We discussed how he can build a strong attraction strategy to help him with networking.

The point is this: we must stay grounded. Statistics like this are encouraging, but they don’t mean you are home free. You still need a plan, motivation and action!