Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

Posts Tagged ‘GFC

Job market unkind to older workers

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Even It Up! has noticed with concern the global unemployment stats increasing as a result of the GFC.  We think partly it’s to do with business confidence (or lack thereof), and partly to do with an excuse by corporations to shed staff with (what they perceive to be) minimal repercussions.  It’s affecting in particular a number of key groups:  those who have just left school or uni, those in middle management or manufacturing, and those who are in the older age group.

The LA Times says that the current job market is especially cruel for older workers:

More Americans 55 and older are working longer, and those who are looking for jobs face a technologically transformed market where potential employers may deem them overqualified.  Many recruiters these days want only e-mail applications and refuse to take phone calls.

The number of people 55 and older who want a job but can’t find one has more than doubled over the same period to nearly 1.8 million. Many are struggling in a largely digital job search process that’s vastly different from what they have experienced before.

But with unemployment the highest it has been in more than a quarter of a century — 8.5% nationally in March and 10.5% in California in February — older job seekers are competing with younger, cheaper rivals.

Older employees are often wrongly perceived as being overqualified, overpriced, technologically challenged and inflexible, said Gene Burnard, publisher of the job-listing website Workforce50.com.
Some recruiters assume that because older applicants are vying for jobs that pay less than their previous positions, they’ll jump ship as soon as the economy improves.

Graying job seekers are flocking to technical and community colleges to improve their skills, experts said. Many are tapping reservoirs of discipline accumulated from decades in the workplace to keep themselves focused.

We would argue that older Australian workers are having similar experiences. You can read the full article here.

HREOC also debunk myths (backed up by research) about hiring older workers, and remind recruiters that discrimination is  against the law.  However, Even It Up! has consistently said that discrimination is now a covert practice, because (of course) the overt kind is illegal and people/businesses are getting very good at non-discriminatory discrimination…

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Written by evenitup

April 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm