Why Focus on 50+

Uncertainty is the new normal. Americans age 50 and over face choices and pressures unlike those of any other age group - choices no one could have prepared for.

Older workers suffer the largest increase in long-term unemployment, the longest spells of joblessness and the least likelihood of finding jobs. Many are living paycheck to paycheck, and one in four workers has burned through his or her savings. Having worked hard, paid taxes and served their country and communities, they find themselves in circumstances far beyond what they could have prepared for.

Even in this tough economy, employers in growth industries sometimes struggle to find qualified applicants to fill job vacancies. American industry increasingly needs workers with higher skill levels and credentials, yet the number of workers with two-year degrees and vocational certificates continues to fall short of predicted needs.

50+ workers bring assets to the workplace that employers need, such as a strong work ethic, reliability, good judgment, and strong interpersonal and communication skills. A multi-generational workforce brings value to employers and employees alike.

"We look to employ older workers, as they bring stability and consistency to a workforce." - Jerold A. Ramos, manager, Talent Acquisition and Military Liaison Workforce Development Specialist, AlliedBarton Security Services


AARP Foundation launched BACK TO WORK 50+ in 2012 to increase the services and resources available to job candidates age 50 and older nationally and in communities and to facilitate their access to employers with in-demand jobs.

In October 2013, AARP Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) launched a collaboration to expand BACK TO WORK 50+ by making it available at community colleges in 15 different locations, with 10 of those locations focused specifically on the needs of low income, older adult women to provide an expanded level of career and support services.

Through BACK TO WORK 50+ job candidates aged 50 and older can attend local information sessions where they can learn how to update their personal marketing tools and networking strategies, target their job search on in-demand jobs, get job leads, and find resources that can help them stay strong while they're looking for their next full-time job. Job Candidates can also apply for a BACK TO WORK 50+ Coaching Program which includes individual support for job candidates and access to training for in-demand jobs.

For more information and access to BACK TO WORK 50+ resources please call the AARP Foundation toll free at 1-855-850-2525.