From the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado comes a story of Don, who faced a layoff a year before his planned retirement. After 300 applications and only 10 interviews it became clear to him that the culprit wasn’t his lack of experience, it was his age.
Age discrimination takes many forms but is often difficult to call out in it’s subtle forms. An HR administrator may ask you when you plan to retire. A worker may notice that they’re not being chosen for projects. Sometimes it’s the expectation that the worker isn’t technically savvy and there are few programs to get them trained.
One couple who were looking for jobs without success found that they had better luck when they removed their graduation dates from their resumes.
Many of the available jobs are junior roles which have fewer requirements for experience and hence smaller salaries. In many startups in tech there is an expectation of long hours for low wages which may be fine for younger workers without families or a mortgage. Faced with rejections with unspoken reasons many give up and become part of a growing population of the long-term unemployed.
Finances are the reason many need to work later in life than planned.
A 2014 AARP survey found that 70 percent of respondents planned to work in retirement, and 35 percent of those older than 65 said finances were the biggest reason.
Boulder has started hosting 55+ job fairs. 175 job seekers showed up for the first event. And all age events had 300 attendees over the age of 50. Some local companies participate with the county in searching for older workers including some where more experience is seen as beneficial.
We’ll be seeing more attempts to address the unspoken reality of age discrimination in the workplace.
Link to the full article: Age discrimination complaints in Boulder County, up on average
Photo by: Tampa VA