Although the federal government passed a law designed to protect employees from age discrimination in the workforce, one of the largest studies on the subject has found that the problem is still alive and well.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco conducted a nationwide field test that determined employers favor younger applicants over older.
Researchers created phony resumes with identical skills in different age groups and submitted them to jobs in fields that have a high number of low-skilled workers in all age ranges. Women resumes were sent to administrative and sales positions and men sent to janitorial and security positions.
According to the study, young and middle aged job seekers had a higher callback rate than older seekers.
Women are affected more by their age than men. For administrative assistant jobs, the callback rate for women in the oldest age range was 47 percent lower than the youngest age group. For sales, there was a 36 percent difference.
The shrinking number of traditional retirement plans and inadequate savings is making the older generations work longer than their parents did and having them face barriers to get and keep their jobs. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 52 percent of households in the U.S. are at risk of having a lower standard of living after retiring. Because of age discrimination, it’s affecting whether they can work longer.