Older Workers ““ Aging Workforce Issues for Job Search

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Attitudes Toward Older Workers Are Changing:

The Center for Retirement Research recently studied older workers and the employer attitudes toward them. The study illuminates many key points including the fact that attitudes may be changing toward older workers. In the past, some evidence and many personal experiences and stories suggested that employers tend to shy away from the older worker. Evidence in the courts indicates that discrimination does still exist, unfortunate reality of a competitive marketplace. Privately, human resources professionals and other hiring decision makers point to not wanting to hire individuals with engrained bad habits, the potential for higher health care costs and the “I’ll do it my way” attitudes that some older workers have demonstrated at their companies. You won’t get these professionals to put such sentiments in writing but if you talk to as many of these hiring professionals as I do you will quickly get these types of stories and truthful anecdotes.

Statistics from a number of companies demonstrate that workers over 50 sometimes have a hard time finding work. But, the reality is that today’s 50-year old is not the same as a 50 year old of yesteryear. The argument can and should be made that older workers today are much different that older workers of the past. For example, Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research suggest that today’s workers are better educated that even those of 10 years ago. They are more physically fit. Physical demands of jobs are lessening as most manufacturing goes overseas. Labor-intensive positions have been and will continue to be lessened by machines and technology advances.

In a survey of 400 private sector employers, they were asked to evaluate the relative productivity and cost of white-collar and rank-and-file workers age 55 and over and whether, on balance, older employees were more or less attractive.
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