AGE DISCRIMINATION IN hiring is illegal. Nevertheless, it happens, and it’s one of the reasons why workers over age 50 experience longer bouts of unemployment than younger people.
A study on laid-off workers from 2008 to 2012 shows 65 percent of those older than 62 were still unemployed after 12 months, compared to 47 percent of those ages 50 to 61; 39 percent for those ages 35 to 49; and 35 percent of those ages 25 to 34, according to economist Richard Johnson, senior fellow at the Urban Institute.
Biases are one barrier blocking older workers from good opportunities, says Dan Ryan, principal of Ryan Search & Consulting: “There’s a perception among some people making hiring decisions that [older workers] may be less adaptable to change.”
Salary expectations are another salient factor that sometimes work against older people who are hunting for jobs.
“Many people making hiring decisions think that they can hire someone with less experience, if the job warrants that, for a lower rate of pay,” Ryan says.
So what can older workers do to improve their chances on the job market? Experts recommend the following approaches: