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Stats on feelings of age discrimination

by on October 24, 2016

This piece in Personnel Today reports on research by Total jobs which was widely covered in the HR and recruitment press (including OnRec and the Total Jobs blog).  The stats from the survey of those searching for jobs were reported as follows:

“Almost two-thirds (63%) of 55- to 64-year-olds say that they have felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age…..One in three (33%) 16- to 24-year-olds had felt age discrimination, with this number falling to 21% for 25- to 34-year-olds and 22% for 35- to 44-year-olds.

Whereas 82% of people aged 55- to 64 and 62% of 45 to 54-year-olds see their age as a disadvantage when applying for a job, just 31% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 16% of 25 to 34-year-olds feel the same”

Frustratingly there did not appear to be a link to the survey report, even from the TotalJobs blog report (this includes a link to an October news summary but there is little detail).  However there were two interesting issues that these raised for me, aside from the headline news about older workers and age discrimination:

  • Despite the abolition of the default retirement age an ‘older worker’ in surveys such as these seems to have an upper age limit of 64.  What is the experience of those older than 64 and why is it ignored in surveys such as these?
  • I am not convinced that describing the figure of 16-24 yr olds as “just 31%” seems appropriate.  So yes, this figure is about half the percentage reported by those in the 55-64 age category BUT it is twice that reported by 25-34 yr olds.

In fact, when represented in their own tweet, while the experience reported by 55-65 year olds obviously stands out, the figures across the board suggest that age is experienced as an issue by many during the recruitment process:



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