Older Americans faring worst in the recession

at 04:21 PM ET, 10/19/2011

Good news today for the 67 and over crowd: Social Security will increase payments to seniors by 3.6 percent to keep up with the rising cost of living, the first such increase since 2009.

Bad news for the age group right underneath: 55 to 64-year-olds have fared worst in the recession than any other demographic.

That’s the takeaway from a GAO study out Tuesday, which investigates the impact of tough economic times on older Americans. It finds that the recession has exacerbated some employment disparities that used to be relatively minor. What was a two-week gap in median weeks of unemployment between the young and old, for example, has now grown to a 10 week divide. Take a look:


The report also found that household income fell by 6 percent for 55 to 64-year-old adults, but actually rose by 5 percent for those 65 and older. There was a similar split on net worth: poverty rates went up for those in the younger age range but went down for those in the older one.

Adults between 55 and 64 are, essentially, in the worst of both income worlds: both ineligible for many social benefits, like Social Security and Medicare, but also having more trouble finding new employment.

 
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