The Washington Post's Baby boomers are taking on ageism — and losing covers something we hear about often in our research - age discrimination.
We hear about it mostly from baby boomers who tell us it's one of the reasons they became self-employed.
The reality is companies on average prefer younger workers over older ones. Because of this, age discrimination has become a major challenge for baby boomers.
Key quote from the article:
Often needing to stay in jobs longer than they anticipated to shore up savings depleted during the Great Recession, or simply wanting to remain active further into their lengthening life spans, they’re coming up against a strong preference in America for youthful “energy” and “innovation.”
Age discrimination is common across most industries which, of course, is a problem for the growing numbers of aging boomers who want or need to to continue working.
We cover the trend of older Americans staying the in workforce extensively in our baby boomer section. For those looking for a shorter version, the recent New York Times article Of Retirement Age, but Remaining in the Work Force nicely summarizes the topic.
Key quote on the growth of older workers:
In May 2000, 12.8 percent of those older than 65 held a job. By this May, the number had climbed substantially, to 18.8 percent.
The combination of older people wanting or needing to work coupled with age discrimination means more older workers are choosing self-employment.
Not only does this avoid age discrimination, it also provides much more flexibility - something most older workers want.
The Kauffman Foundation's annual Entrepreneurship Index nicely shows the shift to entrepreneurship and self-employment by older Americans. Click to enlarge their chart below.
Expect the trend towards older entrepreneurship to continue, and not just in the U.S. but globally. This is due in large part to demographics. The world is getting older and by 2030 there will be 56 countries where there are more people 65 and older than under the age of 15.