On the surface, it doesn't look like there is a jobs crisis for older workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate for people over 55 was just 6.5 percent in March, the lowest among all age groups and comfortably under the 8.8 percent national rate.
But probe deeper and things look less rosy. For one thing, unemployed workers ages 55 to 64 have been jobless 51.9 weeks on average, the longest among age groups.
Experts agree ageism is a factor. All things being equal, younger applicants probably have an edge over those too young to retire but too old to have youth on their side.
But there are effective ways to level the playing field, says Ken Budd, executive editor of AARP The Magazine. "Make yourself look current," he says.
No, he doesn't mean Botox or hip-hop jeans. Rather, he's referring to polishing your technical skills, revamping your resume and investing in effective networking.
Sound like a lot? Well, finding a job is hard work. But it can happen. In the last 12 months, employment of people 55 and older has risen by 754,000 positions.