People over the age of 55 struggle to find employment

 Am I not getting hired because of my age?

It's a question many people over the age of 55 are asking themselves as employment opportunities for those in that age range seem harder to find.

Sharon is one of many in South Carolina who thinks her age may be working against her when it comes to finding a job.

“I’ve been working since I was a teenager and I’ve unemployed before but not like this. To have put as many applications as I have and I’ve prayed over it and hoped over it and you don’t even have a way of getting back with some people," Sharon said.

She said she's submitted more than 25 job applications but has yet to hear back from any of them saying she could come in for an interview.

“Many places haven’t even let me know whether or not they received my application. Some have, they thank me for my application and say they’ll get back with me but nothing has resulted yet," Sharon said.

Pamela Grant the state director for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) said these are problems many people over the age of 55 are running into.

"There's just not a lot of resources for people who are 55 and older when it comes to employment. You can't show your soft skills usually in a written resume, unless you get an interview and people of that age category for whatever reason seldom get an interview," Grant said.

It's not just something people in South Carolina are dealing with. A study recently released by the New School University in New York City showed that for the first time in almost 50 years, older workers face higher unemployment than people who are between the ages of 35-54.

Grant said age discrimination is a real thing and there are things about older workers that some employers may take into consideration when deciding if they want to give a younger person the job.

"Some people who are 55 and over and particularly our participants have a lack of computer skills," Grant said.

Grant said there are a few resources for people over the age of 55 that people can use. She said SCSEP as well as the employment office in your county can be a great resource.

SCSEP is a community service and work-based job training program for older Americans.

Sharon said she will keep the faith and continue applying to jobs with the hopes that one day soon, one will reach back out.

Here are a few resources for people over the age of 55 in South Carolina looking for employment.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and Goodwill Industries.

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