Employment for those 55 and over is at a record high. Young people are hit hardest by the economy. [View all]
Unemployment among those age 55 and over is just 6.5 percent, compared to 8.2 percent among those 25 to 34, and almost 13 percent among 20 to 24 year olds. It was even more pronounced just a year ago, when unemployment was 6.7 percent for those 55 and over, but 9.3 percent for 25 to 34.
At it's peak, the unemployment rate for workers under 25 was 19.6 percent, the highest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking unemployment in 1947.
Meanwhile, employment for those 55 and over in absolute numbers is at a record high, having been climbing continuously for almost 20 years. There are more older workers, and they're far less likely to be unemployed.
The proportion of individuals who continue to work after age 55 reached a record high this year. Some 40.2 percent of Americans age 55 and older participated in the labor force in 2010, a number than has increased steadily since 1993 when just 29.4 percent of older Americans worked, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis of Census Bureau data.
And a college degree is no protection; the unemployment rate for new college graduates isn't significantly different from the national average, meaning an older worker with an average education is more likely to be gainfully employed than a brand new college graduate with advanced training.