Older Individuals Face Job-Search Challenges

Job-seekers nearing retirement age face employment barriers.

A study from the AARP Public Policy Institute provides insights into employment barriers for people of retirement age.

Research shows that many older workers plan to stay at work or enter new careers in retirement for financial reasons, to keep benefits or to stay engaged. In the AARP survey, 14% indicated a major barrier to employment was that benefits were not adequate at jobs they were pursuing, and 16% indicated they were not physically able to perform job duties.

Nearly half (48%) of the re-employed said they were earning less on their current jobs than the job they had before. Among the re-employed, half were earning less because they were being paid less, 10% were working fewer hours, and 39% gave both as reasons.

The survey focused on individuals ages 55 to 70 who sought new jobs after a period of unemployment. More than one-quarter (26%) said employers thinking they were too old was a major barrier in finding employment.

Seventeen percent said employers think they are overqualified, and 12% said their skills were not suitable for the jobs they were pursuing. The AARP survey report notes that those seeking jobs in a new field may have to settle for entry-level jobs and lower pay because they do not have the experience in their new career path.

In addition to these barriers, other research has found many pre-retirees’ plans to work longer will not pan out, often for health reasons.

The AARP research report, which also offers insights about job search strategies, is here.