Finding the right job for you is not always easy, but if you are job-seeking and also 35 or older, you may find it particularly difficult. In fact, these days, jobseekers ages 35 and over report that they see their age as the most significant hurdle they face on the road to employment.
According to AARP, age discrimination is alive and well in America, and so much so that two-thirds of all workers between the ages of 45 and 74 report having experienced it themselves. While age discrimination takes place in all industries, you may be more likely to experience it when you make a living in particular sectors.
Age discrimination risk factors
You may be more likely than members of the general workforce to experience age discrimination if you work in the tech industry, or if you make your living in entertainment. Women may also be more common victims of age discrimination, with 72% of women between 45 and 74 saying they believe age discrimination in common in the workplace. Only 57% of the men in the same age group agreed with this sentiment. Also, many workers have long felt that age discrimination became more of an issue once they reached their 50s. However, a rising number of workers say they are feeling the effects of it as early as their 30s or 40s.
A pervasive issue nationwide
Just how common is age discrimination? In 2016, age discrimination complaints made up more than a fifth of all discrimination complaints logged by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Age discrimination may occur in any stage of the hiring, employment or firing process. If your employer has a staff of at least 20 employees, he or she must adhere to the guidelines set by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.