Fewer jobs for older workers

When it comes to finding a new job, they always say experience is key.

But across the country and throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley, some workers are finding that there could be such a thing as too much experience.

With the economy still stalled and unemployment at near-record highs, older workers are having a harder and harder time finding jobs.

The jobless rate for those 55 and older rose to 7 percent in June, the highest for that age group in records dating to 1948.

The Labor Department said unemployed workers 55 or older were jobless an average of nearly 30 weeks, compared with about 21 weeks for those younger than 55. That gap has widened during the recession: In 2006, it averaged six weeks.

The Stanislaus County Alliance Worknet reported a 15 percent increase in workers age 55 and older enrolling for their services during the past fiscal year.

Fifty-four-year-old Modesto resident Jeff Dugan doesn't need to see the numbers; he is living them. The part-time pest inspector has been looking for full-time work for more than a year.

What he has found in the job market has been brutal.

Read the complete story at