The number of people 45 and older who have been job­less for more than a year has quadru­pled since 2007, accounting for nearly half of the 3.5 mil­lion Amer­i­cans out of work for more than a year, according to the US ­Depart­ment of Labor.

“His­tor­i­cally, we’ve never seen any­thing that comes close to this; these num­bers are unbe­liev­ably high,” said Andrew Sum, director of North­eastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies. “And the longer you’re unem­ployed, the more likely you are to leave the labor force, and the more likely it’s an early retire­ment for you.”

This is not a sandy-​​beaches-​​and-​​sunsets type of retire­ment. After years of finan­cial inde­pen­dence, many must lower stan­dards of living, deplete sav­ings, or rely on spouses’ earn­ings. The majority are older white men, according to the Labor Depart­ment, including many college-​​educated workers who rebounded from job losses ear­lier in their careers, only to see employ­ment prospects dim in what should be their prime earning years.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →