Age Discrimination Outlook in Post-Retirement Job Hunting

Forbes recently featured an interesting article written by Jan Cullinane entitled Post-Retirement Job Hunting highlights some of the obstacles that baby boomers who plan to work during retirement may face:

During 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 16,548 charges of age discrimination. Also, consider that the average job search was 16 weeks for people under 55 years old, but 22 weeks for those older than 55. And Texas A&M economics professor Joanna Lahey found that companies were more than 40% likely to interview a younger job seeker rather than an older job seeker.

Cullinane states, however, that the shear number of workers over 40 years old, coupled with labor shortages, may force employers to not overlook the skills and value of this cohort:

Most experts, however, are upbeat about the future of mature workers. With baby boomers (more than 76 million) retiring from primary careers, and fewer younger workers (48 million Gen Xers) to replace them, labor shortages will force companies to retain, retrain (if necessary) and value the older employee.

Time will tell whether employers will be savvy enough to discard precedent and remove what has been coined as the “gray ceiling.”