Employers See Age Bias Decline as Workforce Gets Older

January 23, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - While the majority of those age 50+ continue to perceive age bias as a strong force in life, employers see a decline in age bias as the workforce gets older and the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation threatens business continuity.

A report from RetirementJobs.com, a job search provider for job seekers over age 50, said its Age Bias survey found 94% of working, job seeking and retired respondents believe age bias is a fact of life. While 78% of employer respondents also said age bias was a fact of life, employers were three times as likely to report age bias is declining (36%) as were worker respondents (12%).

More than half (54%) of worker respondents said age bias was getting worse, while 18% of employer respondents said the same, according to the report. However, RetirementJobs.com said some of this may be a misperception, as many job seekers who do not receive a response after submitting a resume and workers offered early retirement from companies experiencing financial woes interpret these incidences as age bias.

As some industries are already experiencing a shortage of workers and face more retiring workers in the coming years, the RetirementJobs.com report said now is the time for employers to change the worker perception of age bias and step up efforts to attract and retain workers age 50+. According to the report, Deborah Russell, Director of Workforce Issues with AARP, said its examination of company policies and practices shows employers are “offering the kinds of workplace practices that are meeting the needs of this demographic.”

The RetirementJobs.com research paper is here .