“You’re overqualified for the position.”
This is the rationale that many unemployed workers in their fifties hear when they aren’t chosen for a job. But since these workers are 20% less likely to become re-employed compared to those age 25 to 34, some think that ageism is at play.
According to CNN Money, researchers at Boston College are calling people in their 50s “the new unemployables.”
Almost two-thirds of unemployed workers age 55 and older have been searching for a job for over a year, when only a third of younger workers have been looking that long. Unemployed workers between 55 and 64 also are unemployed for the longest stretches—11 months on average, compared to eight months for 25- to 36-year-olds.
As a result, almost 50% of unemployed baby boomers believed age discrimination was part of the reason they hadn’t been able to find work, according to a survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute.
It may not be pure age discrimination, however: In this kind of job market, employers have their pick of people to fill open positions, and younger people have more technical skills and are less expensive.