Older Job Seekers Face Discrimination on the Path to Employment

NPR reports that many older job seekers may face age discrimination and unique challenges as they search for employment in a grim job market. Patch digs up some resources to help older job seekers find success.

Many of the older men and women seeking jobs in this troubled economy are finding that age discrimination is playing a part in their inability to find substantial employment. All Things Considered, a program on NPR reported that last month, two million job seekers over the age of 55 were struggling to find work. While older men and women are less likely to be laid off, they tend to stay unemployed for much longer than younger workers.

All Things Considered conducted an eye opening interview with 50 year old Jerri Newton of Texas who has been out of work for two years ever since she lost her job at a resort. With the help of Jerri’s sister, Newton and her husband have been living off of her life savings while she takes computer classes at the local Goodwill.

Anyone who falls under the 9.1% of unemployed Americans understands the hopelessness and frustration that comes along with filling out countless applications without even a phone call or an email from a prospective employer.  Jerri Newton filled out over 200 applications during the two years she has been unemployed.  For more information on how to apply for unemployment aid, check out New Jersey’s website.

Newton stated that she is looking for , a concept that may be strange and unfamiliar for many older applicants. Newton’s placement specialist at Goodwill noted that this generation of workers used to believe in making long term commitments to employers, working only one or two jobs in a lifetime. Now, many are faced with the harsh reality of working in a world that does not necessarily welcome an older generation of employees, many of whom may have a hard time adapting to new technology.

Jim Callaham is in his late 60s. He noted that, "When I walk into an interview, if the person interviewing me is a 20-something-year-old, my heart tends to drop a little bit," says Jim Callaham, who is in his late 60s. "Because the chances of a 20-something-year-old hiring their granddad are small."

With many politicians looking to make cuts to the benefits this older generation needs to survive, unemployment has become a very real threat to the survival of this generation. Monster.com has some helpful tips for older job seekers. Looking to brush up on your technical skills? Check out Union County College’s Continuing Education program for details on how to buff up your skills and your credentials.

Robert October 19, 2011 at 09:20 PM
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