(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 52)
them to move somewhere else to work.
The intense financial stress that results
from job loss can be devastating to
workers who watch what they thought
would be a secure future disappear.
Even when they do find new jobs,
mature workers often make significantly less money than they did before.
Schmitt found that 38 percent of older
men and 44 percent of older women
take cuts of at least 20 percent from
what they previously earned. Many
find themselves caught in a conundrum—they are unable to retire but
lack the time it takes to start over again.
“There’s a line that steelworkers use,”
says John Russo, codirector of the Center for Working-Class Studies at Ohio’s
Youngstown State University: “‘We’re
too old to work and too young to die.’ ”
For 30 years, Virginia Dinah Russell,
63, worked at a textile mill in Kan-
napolis, North Carolina. Born and
raised in that century-old town, where
everyone’s fortunes were somehow
tied to textile manufacturing, she
operated machinery to produce towels,
never doubting the security the factory
gave her. “We were thinking that mill
was going to be there forever,” she says.
But in 2003 her employer, Pillowtex,
declared bankruptcy and shut down all
its plants, throwing 4,800 North Caro-
linians out of work—the largest mass
layoff in the state’s history.
It’s not just finances that take a hit
when older workers lose their jobs.
Their health suffers, too. Bill Gallo, a
research scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine, has extensively
studied displaced workers between 51
and 61. “We’ve discovered that people
who lose their jobs are more likely to
Page 34 (Kayce): Eileen Fisher shell, $278;
I.N.C. wrap, $79; Tahari trousers, $39;
Lauren pumps, $98. Jewelry, model’s own.
Page 35 (Kate): Vest, $112, and sweater, $52,
both by Lauren Active; Eileen Fisher pants,
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BCBG shoes, $89; bracelet, $46, and earrings, $42, both by Givenchy. (Anthony):
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(Laurie): T Tahari coat, $178; Anne Klein
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earrings, $24. Page 37 (Bobbi): Elie Tahari
trousers, $228; Tahari blouse, $59; Michael
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ring, $20, by Nine West; Fossil earrings, $48.
(Paul): DKN Y Jeans jacket, $125; Hugo Boss
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$32. Clothes available at Macy’s stores or
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