The state’s unemployment rate got a little better last month,but now economists are watching to see if this month’s number worsens, like the recent national average. Contributing to that average is a growing number of unemployed workers over age 55. Unemployed, not retired. National labor statistics show that the numbers of the older unemployed have steadily climbed to a 70 percent increase.Patrick Cobb, the state AARP spokesman says that for South Carolina, those trends hold true:
Why are more seniors trying to go back to work?
Cobb says,”It’s also becoming harder for seniors to live on Social Security alone considering 35% of workers have no retirement savings. Most older South Carolinians work because they need the extra income,” says Cobb, “Or to supplement their retirement savings,” he says, “because a lot of folks have not saved for retirement because health care costs, costs of living have increased, they’ve got the custody of, or are raising their grandchild, which adds to expenses. Or they have become a ‘boomerang family’ due to the economy with other family members moving back to mom and dad’s house.”
And seniors have medical needs.
Cobb says, “If they have not had health care insurance, then that’s one of the larger groups that are always looking for quality health insurance. And it’s really not easy for them to find work with quality benefits they are looking for,” says Cobb.
Some of the jobs seniors have been able to get during the summer months are seasonal tourism-related jobs — like work at golf courses or restaurants —-providing temporary employment only.