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 Layoffs Affecting Middle-aged Women

by Pamela Stone

Factory closings. In April, the U.S. Labor Department said there were 53,000 more women, age 55 and older, who were unemployed than a year earlier. Last year, a national survey of factory closings in 1998 and 1999 found just 44 percent of laid-off female workers that age had found new jobs. In addition, 41 percent had given up and left the job market.


"We've found that the longer [unemployed workers] have been with an employer, the longer they remain unemployed," says John Lawrence, an analyst with the Georgia Department of Labor. "Many times their salary is not in line with their actual skills on the market. It's hard to transfer those [skills] over."

Unfortunately, in an economy where factories die and service industries grow, people like this get the brunt of destruction, experts say, particularly for women 55 and older.

- Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution May 27


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