Age is Just a Number, Except When it Comes to Getting a Job Study Says

According to a new study, The New Unemployables, a joint research project by Boston College and Rutgers, after a job loss, people 50-plus are less likely to get a new job than their younger counterparts, and many are opting for part-time employment in lieu of full-time work. The re-employment outlook for older workers who have been recently laid off is far more discouraging, leaving many to quit their job search altogether. Unfortunately, the factors that the researchers uncovered are similar to what we’re seeing at America’s Job Exchange.

For many older workers, they have enjoyed higher pay-scales and benefits packages. If this 50+ worker is laid off, most often they are looking for comparable employment – both in terms of job and pay. For many companies today, hiring less experienced, cheaper workers supersedes the need to find employees with higher qualifications. Let’s face it – a younger worker can be more flexible when it comes to accepting the same job for less money, and some employers may capitalize on this fact. Older workers, on the other hand, tend to be tied to a specific salary-range and less likely to settle for less. Their lifestyle may not allow for a lower-paying job.

The study also found that older workers have taken less educational or training courses, 12% as compared to 20% for their younger counterparts. With the older worker more likely to have been laid off in fields that are experiencing a decline in hiring altogether, these job seekers may not have the skills that translate into new jobs in adjacent fields that may be growing; hence, the requirement of education and training which they lack further impedes their job search progress. Older workers are also having a harder time reconnecting to the job market using the power of their networks.

The study found that while those 50-plus are utilizing online job boards to look for work, they are less likely to use social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to further their networking – 13% use social media compared to 28% of younger job seekers who tend to be more tech-savvy. Compounding these issues, the report also found that over-half of older job seekers are foregoing medical care for themselves and their families, as they experience the financial stresses tied to job loss.

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