Ageism begins during the job search. While the current unemployment rate for people 45 and over is comparatively low — about 3.5 percent versus 4.9 percent nationally — older workers are at a disadvantage when looking for new gigs. They take longer to find work and make up about 45 percent of the long-term unemployed, according to Next Avenue.
About two in three workers between age 45 and 74 have experienced it at work, according to AARP. Most people believe ageism starts in their 50s, though research suggests it actually begins around age 35. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was supposed to address this unfairness, but in 2015, over 21,000 complaints were filed with the government.
Ageism — both at work and outside the office — isn’t going away anytime soon, but we can help make things better for older employees by just being ourselves.
Standing up for our own qualifications and confronting prejudices against working boomers are just two of the real, actionable measures we must take in addressing larger, more institutional issues.