Hot Topics: Unemployment Dips for Older Workers
The nation's jobs outlook improved a bit in March for workers of all ages: The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.8 percent and the rate for workers over 45 also inched down a fraction,to 7.2 percent, according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During March, private employers added 216,000 new positions, including jobs in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing.
Since November 2010, overall unemployment has dropped by 1 percent and is currently the lowest it's been in two years. The outlook is slightly less rosy for workers over 45, who have seen their overall unemployment rate drop less than 1 percent in the past year, from 7.9 percent in March 2010.
Older workers still have the country's lowest unemployment rates, although recent studies have shown that once they lose jobs it takes longer (PDF) for them to re-enter the workforce. In March, the unemployment rate for people 55 and older was 6.5 percent, up a tick from 6.4 percent in February, but down from 6.9 percent a year ago. During the month, the unemployment rate for workers over 65 was 6.7 percent, a slight dip from 6.8 percent in February, and down from 7.2 percent a year ago.
Universities to Study Brain Repair: Researchers at the University of California's San Francisco and Berkeley campuses are teaming up to study brain repair and develop devices that would allow people with disabling conditions to control prosthetic tools using only their thoughts. Engineers and neuroscientists are working together to develop devices that people who have had strokes, spinal cord injuries or head traumas can use to transmit signals from their brains to robotic arms, legs, and computer cursors. Researchers at the schools' new Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses say they expect to have devices ready for use in clinical trials within a few years.
DWTS Showcases Over-40 Celebs: Jennifer Grey's win on Dancing With the Stars' 11th season last fall proved 50-year-olds can kick up their heels with the best of them. Someone must have been paying attention because this week the hit show kicked off its 12th season with boomers and Generation Jones celebrities well represented. Among them: Kirstie Alley (60), Sugar Ray Leonard (54), "Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio (49), TV talk show host Wendy Williams (46) and pro wrestler Chris Jericho (40).
Planning a Do-Over: You might be ready to redo your life, but getting there isn't necessarily easy. First and foremost, it takes planning, says Ann Daly, a life coach and author of Do-Over! How Women Are Reinventing Their Lives. "Not only do you need to consider the step-by-step pragmatics of change, but you also need to consider how you will handle the push-back you may get from your family, friends, or co-workers," Daly says. Read her entire post at MariaShriver.com.
Life After 60 Book Wins Award: Author Bruce Frankel's book, What Should I do With the Rest of My Life? True Stories of Finding Success, Passion and New Meaning in the Second Half of Life, was recognized with a 2011 Axiom Business Book Award. Frankel was the subject of this SecondAct blog post about the new realities of life after 60.
Speaking of Books: Alan Paul's expat memoir, Big in China, about his midlife move to Beijing and unlikely success fronting an American-Chinese blues band, is out this month and gathering positive reviews. "Finding Chinese blues lovers to jam with turns Paul from visitor to friend and gives his story an emotional depth," USA Today's Deirdre Donahue writes. According to Collider.com, Montecito Films has optioned the book as a possible project for "No Strings Attached" director Ivan Reitman.
Top Websites for Boomers: SeniorsForLiving.com names SecondAct.com to its list of top 100 blogs for baby boomers and seniors. The site, which offers information on housing options, recognized websites and blogs that cover travel, caregiving, careers, retirement, aging, Sandwich Generation issues and related topics. Other standout sites include Gypsy Nester, ThirdAge, CaringBridge and The New York Times blog, The New Old Age. Browse the entire list here.
Previous Post: Will Jamie Moyer Pitch Forever?
Next Post: "The Big Shift" Recasts the Third Age of Life