Participants in a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami. (Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press)

The Nov. 3 Politics & The Nation article “Review finds rising death rate among middle-aged whites” was published one week after “Study: Older workers face discrimination” [Digest, Economy & Business, Oct. 27]. Might there be a correlation?

Department of Labor statistics indicate that although unemployment for middle-aged workers is lower than for several other groups, they are unemployed for much longer periods. Hiring a veteran may be the cause du jour, but hiring a middle-age person is at least as important. Prolonged unemployment (and underemployment) wreaks havoc on one’s finances, retirement and well-being. For nearly two years, my Peace Corps service and a master’s degree failed to open any doors except part-time work at $15 an hour. I still am underemployed, earning about $18 an hour (but with benefits).

The lack of employment opportunities for the middle-aged is not because there aren’t good jobs out there; we’re not even invited to interview. This issue deserves greater discourse and action. 

Charlotte Reed, Washington