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Sixty-Three Percent of Mature Job Seekers Have Applied for Jobs Below Their Level, CareerBuilder Survey Finds

olderworkerDo you know someone 55 or older who has been laid off in the past year and has had a hard time finding a new job? Are you one of them? If so, you’re not alone; mature workers have been hit particularly hard in regard to recent job loss. While almost three-fourths (71 percent) of those ages 25 to 34 who were laid off in the last 12 months have found new jobs, just over a quarter (28 percent) of mature workers have been able to do so,  the lowest percentage of all age groups.

Competing with recent grads

A new study from CareerBuilder shows that many mature workers are overqualified for the jobs to which they are applying, and are expanding their job search to include entry-level positions, internships, relocation and other options in an effort to secure gainful employment. Because of changes in the level and type of job they are searching for, mature job seekers are also now competing with recent college graduates and other new work force entrants for entry-level positions — positions which they likely thought were long behind them. And 44 percent of mature workers have been told by employers that they’re overqualified for a job.

What your fellow employers are saying

The good news about all of this? The majority of employers (65 percent) say they would consider experienced candidates who apply for jobs for which they’re overqualified.

  • One in four employers (26 percent) reported they have received applications from workers over the age of 50 for entry-level jobs
  • An additional 11 percent have received entry-level applications from retirees

Mature workers offer a wealth of knowledge and experience that has translated into a significant competitive advantage for employers,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Employers are considering mature job candidates for a variety of positions ranging from entry-level to senior-level to consultants to leverage their intellectual capital and mentor other workers. Twenty-nine percent of employers have hired a worker age 50 or older for a permanent position within their organization over the last six months.

“Need internship, will travel”

Mature workers are also seeking out internships as an alternate way to break into longer-term employment.  Seven percent of employers reported candidates 55 and older have applied for internships at their organizations. Over half of them (55 percent) say they would be willing to consider mature workers for internships, while 4 percent have already taken action and hired them.

Relocating to a new city may often be an attractive option for those just out of college or in their early career years, but many mature workers are considering uprooting their current lifestyle and moving to land a new job. Pf mature workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and did not find a new job, 41 percent stated they would consider relocating to another city or state to find employment.

Becoming their own boss

Some mature workers are also using unemployment as an opportunity to open that bookstore, restaurant, or Internet business they’ve been talking about for (what seems like) years. Twenty-three percent of mature workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and did not find a job are considering starting their own business.

What about those who did land a job?

Of those mature workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found another job:

  • 26 percent took a job in another field, with the vast majority (75 percent) reporting that they are enjoying the experience
  • In terms of compensation, 48 percent took a pay cut, while 40 percent landed positions with similar pay. Another 13 percent found jobs with a higher compensation rate than what they were previously earning.

Read the full press release on mature workers and entry-level jobs.

Amy McDonnell

About Amy McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the creative services manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
2 comments
joan
joan

Always hve been an outstanding employee.

joan
joan

I have found out that I make 1,000. too much per year to quailfy for the program AARP is offering. I have always been an outstanding
clerical support plus sales. I'm intersted in being an asset to a local company. joan

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