More Employers Now Seeking Older Workers

Many job seekers over a certain age feel discouraged by the fact that some employers may consider them old. In fact, statistics do show that there is some ageism in play in the hiring process; in 2004, job seekers 55 years old and older took 25.8 weeks to find jobs, while the job search lasted only 18.9 weeks for younger workers, according to the AARP.

Sometimes older workers are discriminated against because they are stereotyped as being unwilling or unable to adapt and to use technology and also because they command higher pay than workers straight out of school. There are also a lot of companies unwilling to invest time and training in employees who they think are just going to retire in a few years anyway.

There are definite and obvious benefits to hiring older employees, though. Older workers bring to the table years of experience and tend to stick with jobs longer than their younger counterparts.

To combat ageism in the hiring process, the AARP created the AARP National Employment Team three years ago; the group is comprised of a list of employers, in both the public and private sectors, looking to hire workers 50 years old and older for full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs. The Associated Press reported about two weeks ago that three federal government agencies and six private companies had been added to the list, bringing the total number of employers to 38.

The job opportunities are available for free on the AARP's website.

Deborah Russell, the AARP's director of workforce issues, said 69 percent of baby boomers intend to work past age 65--the traditional retirement age--and that most plan to do so to shore up their savings to cover the high costs of medical care.

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