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Older workers in the New Jersey labor market

Marie Mathis of Boonton, an award-winning marketing pro, finds herself in a predicament. In the three years since she was downsized, the 48-year-old has upskilled, consulted, freelanced and done contract work.

These days, she holds a marketing position for a start-up technology company. Staff meetings are in Starbucks. Mathis loves the work — except for the fact she’s a volunteer. Her ultimate goal — a full-time, paying job — eludes her.

“I’ve been keeping myself active,” she said, “but any HR person who can read between the lines can tell I’ve been unemployed for three years. So I’m no longer part of the story. I’m no longer relevant.”

Some 3 million Americans age 55 and older are out of work these days, including the so-called “missing workers” who have stopped looking. Though their ranks are significant, they don’t tell the whole story.

In a nutshell, more older workers are staying in the New Jersey labor market, or attempting to enter it, than ever before. Last year, the state labor force participation rate, which includes workers and those seeking work, hit a whopping 4.6 million — the highest in state history, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

Capture d’écran 2013-11-24 à 08.37.19

via Over 50, Out of Work: More older workers seeking fewer jobs | Daily Record | dailyrecord.com.

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