The Jobless rate of Middle-Aged Workers (45-65) is at its highest in 70 years…..

Much of the attention during the prolonged U.S. employment crisis has been on high rates of joblessness among young people. Less noticed, but no less significant to many economists, has been the plight of the middle-aged. More than 3.5 million Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 were unemployed as of May, 39% of them for a year or more—a rate of long-term unemployment that is unprecedented in modern U.S. history, and far higher than among younger workers. Millions more have quit looking for work. This is an enlightening article in the WSJ
The struggles of the middle-aged unemployed point to a larger economic problem: The labor market can't fully heal until people like Ms. Adams and Messrs. Daniel and Schoolfield can get back to work. The longer it takes, the deeper and more permanent the scars of the recession become—not just for the workers themselves, but for the broader economy.

Middle-aged people struggle to find work for a variety of reasons: They are more reluctant to change industries than their younger counterparts and tend to have greater financial commitments that make it harder to start over with an entry level job. Because they made career choices decades earlier, they are more likely to work in industries in decline.
They are also less able to move to find work, more likely to be tied down by a mortgage or a spouse's job. Experts say employers often give preference to younger workers, who they perceive to be more flexible, technologically savvy and able to "grow with the company."

"They [companies] tend to go for a younger worker, a more recently educated worker, a more recently trained worker," says James Manyika, a director at the McKinsey Global Institute who has researched employment trends. "If you're 50 and you've been out of employment for a while, it's going to be way harder to get back in."
One solution: the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which pays for retraining laid-off workers in manufacturing and other industries affected by globalization, yet even then, one needs a potential employer willing to hiring someone who has been retrained, yet doesn’t have the industry experience required by main companies.

Although the article didn’t focus on any specific solutions, below are a few tools a middle-aged person can do to increase their chances of finding gainful employment;
1.      If able to obtain re-training – take it. But always keep a part-time job, consulting or even volunteer work while unemployed and re-training. Potential employers look at what you do with your time while unemployed.
2.      If you have some funds stashed away, consider a career management consultant who can not only help you focus your resume, but can help you strategize your job search, and even help “market” you.
3.      Network. Join Industry trade organizations and network with industry pros who may become future employers and co-workers.
4.      Avoid networking groups of “job seekers”. Where groups of unemployed people gather is filled with negativity and detrimental to your success.
5.      Make sure your Linked-In profile is current, professional and detailed with successes.
6.      When responding to job posting, only respond to posting you are truly qualified for and follow submitting instructions.  One out of five people that respond to my postings are rejected simply because they can’t follow instructions.
7.      Follow up once you’ve applied for a position. Persistence is important but stalking is discouraged