Predicament of many unemployed -- too young but too old

Predicament of many unemployed -- too young to retire, too old to rehire

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PHOENIX -

The unemployment rate in the U.S. is down since last year, but many Americans are still without a job. Many unemployed workers are in their 50s and 60s -- too young to retire and sometimes considered too old to get re-hired.

Researchers at Boston College are now calling them the "new unemployables" -- workers in their 50s finding it almost impossible to find a job.

Older workers who were laid off during the recession are losing jobs to younger colleagues. In fact, a new study shows those looking for work in their 50s are 20 percent less likely to become re-hired than workers between the ages of 25 to 34.

"A lot of the new jobs that are being created are really lower wage and really more designed for people that just got out of college or high school," says Michael Hayes, Momentum Staffing.

The labor department reports the average duration of unemployment for workers between the ages of 55 to 64 is 11 months. Jesus Pena is in his 60s and out of work for almost two years now.

"There is a big pool of employees out there, a lot of them are much younger than I am, capable I don't know because I worked all my life but age is becoming a factor nowadays," says Pena.

Another problem preventing older workers from landing a job is being overqualified. They're losing lower paying jobs to those who are just starting in the workforce.

"It's kind of you're in the position of, since you've worked at one job for so long, its actually counting against you," says Hayes.

But Pena is not losing hope and is confident his experience will help him land a job soon.

"My background, it's a long background 25-30 years in the field. They don't know that I'm, and not saying I'm Mr. Know It All, but I'm saying if somebody can do it I can do it," says Pena.

Nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers 55 and older say they have been actively searching for jobs for over a year.

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