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Windows 7: Recession hit older tech workers harder, labor data shows

30 Jan 2011   #1

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Recession hit older tech workers harder, labor data shows

Recession hit older tech workers harder, labor data shows

Older women in computer, math jobs face unemployment rates near 10%

By Patrick Thibodeau and Sharon Machlis
January 27, 2011 05:58 AM ET

Computerworld - Unemployment rates for older IT workers increased during the recession faster than they did for younger employees, according to new U.S. government labor data obtained by Computerworld. But that's something that Maribeth McIntyre, an IT professional with some 30 years of experience, already suspected.
McIntyre was laid off from her job of seven years in early 2007 at age 55. Until that layoff, finding a job had "always been as easy it can be," so she hit the then still-growing pre-recession IT job market to look for a new job in her area of expertise: as a business system analyst and project manager specializing in HR and payroll applications.
In 2007, McIntyre said she had two or three phone interviews a week and many in-person interviews that were often enthusiastic and seemingly successful. But it was eight months before she landed a consulting job. "I was beginning to suspect it was an age problem," she said.
What is certain is that unemployment for people 55 years and older has become a problem, especially during the past two years. In the U.S. government's "computer and mathematical occupations" category, the overall unemployment rate jumped from 6% to 8.4% from 2009 to 2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For women 55 and older, the unemployment rate hit 9.4%. For men in that age group, it was 8%.
Meanwhile, unemployment declined for workers in that category who were between 25 and 54, dropping from 5.1% in 2009 to 4.5% in 2010 (see chart below).
cont on link above

Many of these older people who have and continue to get laid off probably starting to work in the high-tech industry about the time that I did.

Seems like only yesterday 1977 when Bill Gates (MSFT) was suing MITS a subsidiary of the hi-tech company that I worked for winning ownership of the BASIC software program that he had written as a Consultant to MITS.

Most people who were around in the high-tech industry at the time and even some Hi-Tech historians today have said that if Gates had lost that lawsuit that MSFT would have been finished because Gates was out of money at that time.

I never went to the MITS operation which was located in Albuquerque NM but I do remember a number of MITS people coming up to our office in Greater Los Angeles. I remember one of our programmers at that time wrote some incredible internal corporate new product ROI, financial planning and budgeting software programs on a TRASH-80 computer with only 16K RAM and no floppy or hard drive, I know its hard to believe, and using the Basic program written by Gates. The TRASH-80 used an external cassette for data and program storage. Boy were the read write speeds slow.
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