Workers 55 and older are the fastest-growing part of the workforce, actively pursued and recruited by many companies, especially in customer service positions. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for seniors to land jobs.
Talk to job hunters over the tender age of 55 and their stories of endless door-knocking can leave you both enraged and saddened. On average, it takes an older worker twice as long as a younger counterpart to land a job. Last year, the mean time that these baby boomers had to pound the pavement was 47 weeks.
“We have never seen these durations of unemployment in our history,” said Andrew Sum, the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. “These are really huge.”
But advocates for older workers like to point out the bright spots … and there are bright spots: Companies both big and small are reaching out to the senior set and adapting to their needs. Many companies shy away from publicly discussing even the positive attributes of any given demographic for fear they’ll be accused of reverse discrimination.