14 Reasons Baby Boomers Are Struggling to Find Employment

Stephanie Allen

Job interview for seniors

In today’s climate, finding a job at any age isn’t easy, despite the reports of strong hiring growth. It’s even more challenging for baby boomers to find work, even though they want gainful employment. 

Why is it so much harder for baby boomers to find jobs despite bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience? The causes are both numerous and troubling. If you’re a baby boomer whose job search has been fruitless, one or more reasons may explain it. 

1. Age Bias

Woman applying for jobs
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In a perfect world, applicants would find work based on their qualifications alone. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for many job seekers, especially those who are considered baby boomers. 

Ageism is very real, especially in the workplace and in hiring practices. Baby boomers seeking employment may find their applications being ignored or outright declined. It’s a prejudice that needs to end. 

2. Difficulty Adapting 

Credit: goffkein/Depositphotos

The workforce has undergone many transformations since the earliest baby boomers entered it, and it's not the same as it used to be. 

Drastic workforce changes may be complex for baby boomers to adapt to, and their expectations may be too high for the company, making it harder for them to land a job. 

3. Overqualified 

Credit: Depositphotos

A major obstacle baby boomers encounter is one highly educated job seekers experience: they’re perceived as overqualified for the jobs they’re applying for. 

The experience and knowledge baby boomers bring are a double-edged sword. They make ideal job candidates, but they also scare off prospective employers. 

4. Salary Expectations 

Credit: Depositphotos

Employers want to hire workers at the lowest wages possible. Baby boomers (rightfully) expect to be paid a fair wage that reflects their expertise. 

This frequently shuts baby boomers out of jobs because employers don’t want to pay them a decent wage. Employers must correct this issue. 

5. Outdated Resumes 

Woman giving resume to interviewer
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s hard enough for baby boomers to find jobs. Having an outdated resume makes that task even more difficult. Giving their resumes a much-needed refresh helps.

Limit career experiences on a resume to the last 10-15 years. Tailoring it with keywords for specific occupations increases the chances of getting a callback. 

6. Lower Salaries for Younger Workers

Credit: baranq/Depositphotos

Just as older workers may have higher salary expectations based on their level of expertise, companies know they can get away with paying younger workers far less. 

Employers know younger job applicants are hungry to gain experience and earn money, meaning they’re more willing to work for lower pay and fewer benefits.

7. College Degrees Don’t Count As Much

credit: depositphotos

When the first baby boomers entered the workforce, the conventional wisdom held that a college degree was the key to upward mobility. As long as you had a college degree, you were going places.

Today, a college degree doesn't carry the same importance it once did. It could be that employers believe college graduates command a higher salary, and they balk at that. 

8. Health Concerns

credit: depositphotos

This is tricky to navigate as it easily falls under ageism but can also be a legitimate concern. People have health issues at any age, but older people are more likely to have them. 

Baby boomers may worry pre-existing health conditions could hamper them at work, and employers may believe their age makes them less reliable. 

9. Competition From Other Job Seekers 

Credit: Depositphotos

The U.S. Department of Labor extols the new employment numbers each month as a sign that companies are hiring and fewer people are unemployed. 

Jobs are available, but there's also a lot of competition for them. Baby boomers are competing for work with younger generations and other baby boomers for the same openings. 

10. Changes in the Job Market

Marketing Copywriter
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The job market has undergone a lot of changes over the years. Baby boomers who haven’t been in a position of seeking work for a while may be surprised.

Companies are increasingly hiring contractors or only part-time workers instead of full-time workers. This is not an optimal situation for baby boomers looking for a permanent full-time career with benefits. 

11. Skill Gaps

Older skills
Credit: Depositphotos

Prospective employers may wrongly or rightly assume that baby boomer applicants lack the necessary skills to keep up with their existing workforce. 

Baby boomers can overcome this by brushing up on their current skill set and including them in a resume or cover letter. 

12. Minimal or No Networking 

Credit: Depositphotos

If it seems like people applying for jobs get them because they know a friend or a family member who works for a certaincompany, you're not wrong.

Having connections in an organization can make the difference between landing the job or getting no response to a resume. 

13. Perceived Technology Deficits

credit: depositphotos

There's a stereotype that baby boomers are less technologically savvy than their younger counterparts. That stereotype is not necessarily based on truth. 

Plenty of baby boomers are more than just comfortable using tech; they're experts at it. Just because someone isn’t Gen X or younger doesn’t mean they don’t understand technology. 

14. Baby Boomers Aren’t Quitting 

Old Lady at work
Credit: IgorTishenko/Depositphotos

Once upon a time, when workers reached age 65, they retired to live out their golden years. Today, baby boomers are putting off retirement and staying in the workforce longer. This makes it harder for others, including their fellow boomers, to find open positions. 

For some, staying in their jobs is a financial necessity. For others, it’s because they need benefits like health insurance. Yet others continue working because they like the sense of fulfillment they receive from having a job.

15 Reasons Why Companies Are Not Hiring People Over 50

older worker
Credit: fizkes/Depositphotos

The percentage of Americans 65 and older is increasing rapidly by the year, and fewer young people are having children at a replacement rate. You would think extending employees' shelf lives would be a priority to maximize the workforce. Yet, employers often pick the younger candidate over the older one — even when the latter is more qualified. 

15 Reasons Why Companies Are Not Hiring People Over 50

These 12 Jobs Are Perfect for Seniors Who Want to Keep Active and Productive

Credit: Depositphotos

Are you a senior citizen looking for ways to stay active and productive? Or, do you have a parent or grandparent looking for ways to keep busy? Whatever your situation, there are some great jobs out there that can give you the mental and physical stimulation you need. These jobs are simple yet rewarding and don't require a considerable time commitment.

These 12 Jobs Are Perfect for Seniors Who Want to Keep Active and Productive

Leave a Comment