A recent study conducted by the University of California at Irvine professor David Neumark suggests that age bias is becoming an issue for baby boomers. Today’s workforce is getting older and baby boomers aren’t planning to retire anytime soon. This is a problem when employers are guilty of age bias. The study sent out 40,000 resumes to real jobs. The resumes for any job were identical except for age. Neumark reported that the “callback rate drops from young applicants to middle-aged applicants and drops even further from middle-aged applicants to older applicants.” He found these results were worse for older women than older men.
Projection of U.S. working-age population by age group
Source U.S Census Bureau (2014)
Comparison of Job applicant callback rates by age
Source: Authors’ calculations, Neumark et al. (2016)
If more and more people are trying to work longer, this bias could increase the unemployment rate tremendously and cause financial instability for many people who aren’t ready to retire. This is obviously a huge problem for baby boomers. Younger generations need to plan to save more for retirement than their grandparents did or face possible age discrimination in the future.