KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Middle-aged Workers, Especially Women, Have Harder Time Finding Work

Jan 14, 2021, 7:02 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2021, 8:59 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Nobody wants to lose their job, but for certain people, finding new work is harder than it is for others. People over 50 are having an especially hard time getting back to work.

It is against the law to discriminate against hiring someone based on how old they are — or their gender — but new research shows what many people probably already sense: It happens frequently.

Job loss due to the pandemic has affected millions of Americans of every age however, the impact on older workers is of particular concern said the AARP.

“It takes double the time to find a job,” said Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience.

After the great recession, people 50 and older who lost their jobs sat on the unemployment line twice as long according to the AARP.

“Once they did find that job, they often didn’t make the salary that they were making before,” Weinstock said. “They ended up taking a pay cut, too, so it was a double whammy.”

Right now, 45.6% of all job seekers 55 and over have been looking for a job for six months or longer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The stats are even bleaker for women. Male-dominated industries, like construction, have fared better this pandemic than jobs that skew more towards women, like retail and hospitality.

“Women are put in the very hardest position with this pandemic,” Weinstock said.

It is a serious setback for a woman to lose her job later in her career, said the AARP.

“Studies show older women are likely to earn less than men, to have saved less (because of lower earnings), and to have a longer life expectancy, with the health care costs that go with it,” AARP said in a statement. “When and if she finds a new position, there’s also a likelihood the new job isn’t as good as her former one – a condition of underemployment, often related to age and gender discrimination, that worsens her long-term financial outlook.”

Advocates like Weinstock said bosses are really missing out on some valuable “soft” qualities if they fish only from the young-worker pond.

“Things like calm under pressure, or problem solvers. They’re empathetic. They listen better. They’re collegial. They’re collaborative. These are all skills that you gain as you’ve been in the workforce for a long time.”

Here in Utah, state records don’t specifically break down whether older workers take longer to regain employment.

Utah Workforce Services Chief Economist Mark Knold said, “My instincts say that is so, but no data to confirm.”

What data Utah does have said that it was young people who lost their jobs, in large measure, during the Great Recession.

“Fewer older workers lost their jobs during the Great Recession than any other age group,” Knold said. “Those who did lose their jobs probably did have a harder time finding new work than the younger.”

Between 2008 and 2010, the low point of the Great Recession, the oldest age groups saw employment decline by less than 2 percentage points. By comparison, the 35 to 44 age group fell by nearly 8 percentage points, and groups younger than that by at least 5 or more percentage points.

The AARP is hosting an Online Career Expo on Jan. 28. More information can be found at www.aarp.org/onlinecareerexpo.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

Photo of phone with Facebook app...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Facebook gives little to no help to users locked out by hackers

More and more, Get Gephardt is hearing from folks who have been locked out of their Facebook accounts by a hacker. Unable to get help from Facebook and desperate to get their identities back, they don’t know where else to turn.
2 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Get Gephardt: Husband sued for deceased wife’s unpaid medical bill

Just about a year after his wife died of cancer, Keith Zipprich said he was surprised when he, himself, was slapped with a lawsuit from a debt collector trying to collect on one of her unpaid medical bills.
3 days ago
Proch pirates and doorbell cameras...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Why you cannot rely on doorbell cameras to thwart porch pirates

Over a third of us have been hit by porch pirates in the past year according to a new study from ValuePenguin.com.
3 days ago
With only days to go before Christmas retailers are hoping consumers will shop generously. (Photo b...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: The tricks retailers will use to get us to open up our wallets

Of the thousands of Utahns who shopped for bargains on Black Friday, many likely bought a lot of stuff they really didn't plan to buy. And as KSL's Matt Gephardt explains, that's all by design.
4 days ago
KSL TV's Daniella Rivera (left) and Unified police detective Doug Lambert (right)....
Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox, KSL TV

The gift you shouldn’t give car burglars this holiday season

Holiday shoppers are darting around busy parking lots this time of year. So are thieves. Unified police told the KSL Investigators there's a new number one hot spot for car prowlers, but some simple steps can make sure they don't get the better of you.
4 days ago
Matt Gwyther (left) and Dennis Rowley Gwyther (right). (Photo Provided By: Matt Gwyther)...
Daniella Rivera

How mental health staffing shortages are delaying justice in Utah’s courts

A Utah man waiting for justice after the 2019 murder of his husband says staffing issues at the Utah State Hospital have contributed to months of delays in court.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Gephardt: Middle-aged Workers, Especially Women, Have Harder Time Finding Work