Over 55s most discouraged from finding work

New figures released this week paint a picture of Australia’s most discouraged jobseekers, and not surprisingly, it’s the over 55s who face the most trouble when it comes to finding work.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ report, Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, showed that in September 2011, of the 900,000 people who were not in the labour force but who wanted to work and were available to start within four weeks, there were 90,700 discouraged job seekers, of which over half (56 per cent) were aged 55 and over.

These discouraged job seekers reported that their main reason for giving up looking for work was that they were 'considered too old by employers' (36 per cent). This was followed by 'lacked necessary skills, training or experience' (16 per cent).

National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill said the report convincingly showed that older workers were the most marginalised group of people looking for work.

“This shows that a significant number of older Australians are wanting to stay attached to the workforce, but are being shown the door time and time again,’’ he said.

“Australian society can no longer ignore that older workers are facing discrimination based on their age.”

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