Many of those polled said there were few available jobs, few that paid well, and few with adequate benefits. Many cited personal experience with age discrimination.
There isn’t enough decent work for older Americans.
The Associated Press conducted a poll in partnership with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research of more than 1,000 people aged 50 or older. Here’s what it found:
- 55 percent of those who sought work in the past five years said it was difficult. Forty percent of those who have sought work in the past five years said they personally experienced age discrimination or prejudice while on the job or looking for one.
- 43 percent thought employers considered their age.
- 69 percent said there were few available jobs.
- 63 percent said there were few well-paying jobs.
- 53 percent said there were few jobs with adequate benefits.
- About 4 in 10 felt they lacked necessary job skills or felt too old for the available jobs.
- About a third were told they were overqualified for a job.
It wasn’t all bad news. More than 40 percent said their skills were in high demand, and 31 percent said their experience was. The report also said:
Still, Americans 50 and over are far more likely to report positive outcomes because of their age. Sixty percent say they have had colleagues come to them for advice more often, and 42 percent say they have felt as though they were receiving more respect within the company since they turned 50.
The unemployment rate for those 55 and older was 5.3 percent last month, the AP says. It’s lower than the 7.2 percent across all ages, but when older workers lose their jobs, they stay out of work longer. “Unemployed people aged 45 to 54 were out of work 45 weeks on average, those 55 to 64 were jobless for 57 weeks and those 65 and older average 51 weeks,” the AP says.
If you need help finding work after age 50, check out the video below for advice.
Have you seen age discrimination in the workplace or job market? Comment below or on our Facebook page.