Job-Searching Execs Report Growing Age Bias

A recent survey conducted by ExecuNet, an online executive-level job and networking service, reveals recent layoffs have put older workers at a greater risk of age discrimination. According to a survey of 278 executives, 72% believe age discrimination in the workplace has increased during the past five years. Ninety percent of those surveyed blame the economy's recent woes and related layoffs for putting older executives at a greater risk of being discriminated against on the basis of age. "As baby boomers move into their 40s and 50s, the workforce is growing older, and age discrimination is becoming more visible," says Dave Opton, CEO and founder of ExecuNet. "Unfortunately, the highly competitive employment market of the past few years has only made matters worse for older executives." More than half of those surveyed (51%) believe that age becomes a significant factor in a hiring decision at or below the age of 50, 28% say it starts between 51 and 55, and 21% report it becomes an issue after age 55. Of those surveyed, 65% believe they have encountered age discrimination in a job search, up from 58% in 2001. The vast majority (73%) said they were unable to overcome the interviewer's concerns regarding age.

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