We came across a very interesting piece this week on the Huffington Post that we felt was worth sharing. It turns out that many older workers, facing a tough employment market, are improving their fortunes by turning to entrepreneurship — often renting office space, partnering with others and building new businesses from the ground up.
Here’s the story:
Self-Employment An Escape From Long-Term Joblessness For Some Older Workers
Three of every 10 self-employed workers older than 45 turned to entrepreneurship after being laid off, according to a new AARP survey.
And the findings suggest starting a business is a good way for older workers to bounce back: 72 percent of older entrepreneurs said their businesses earned a profit in 2011.
Older workers are far less likely to be unemployed, but much more likely to be out of work for an extended period if they do lose their jobs. More than half of unemployed workers 55 and older have been jobless at least six months, according to AARP, and the average duration of unemployment for older workers was nearly 50 weeks in March, far above the 37-week average for the broader workforce.
Recent research has shown that long-term unemployment itself is an obstacle to getting back to work, so for older workers it can be a double whammy.
The AARP survey coincides with a partnership between the senior lobbying group and the Small Business Administration to promote entrepreneurship among the baby boom generation.
A similar proportion of self-employed older workers told AARP they’d experienced job loss in the organization’s last “Stay Ahead of the Curve” survey in 2007 (though the previous survey did not ask if workers became self-employed specifically because of a layoff). The full 2013 study is due in May.